One of my favorite childhood memories is of celebrating Halloween with my 28 first cousins, my sister and our friends all rounded up at grandma’s house for her annual Halloween Party. We’d all dress up – parents, too – and make a campfire, bob for apples, smack around a few pinatas and go on a hayride to the ghost-filled Bragg Road in Honey Island, Texas.
But things are different now.
Italy doesn’t *do* Halloween the way we do back home and gosh darn it-I miss those days!
Halloween around here is comprised of a couple of shelves of cheap plastic store-bought costumes and … no wait. Halloween here has been comprised of a few shelves of cheap plastic store-bought costumes. And nothing more.
Kids rarely trick or treat and no one decorates their homes. It’s a tad sad.
However, tonight Valentino’s Cocktail bar in Catanzaro Lido is hosting a Halloween Party. Customers and staff members are encouraged to dress up and spooky cocktails will be served all night. My husband and I have also been invited to a post-Halloween party on Saturday afternoon.
Are times a changing?
The Saturday invite is from a new expat friend who hails from Ireland and whose six-year-old son, she says, WILL celebrate Halloween this year.
All Saint’s Day is another story. November 1, or All Saint’s Day, is a day I never celebrated back home, however, my first year in Italy brought over €200 cash, flowers, pastries and dinner on the town. All. For. Me. Because it is my Onomastico, or my Saint Day.
No, no … you haven’t missed anything. Santa Ciliegia has not been canonized. But on November 1, everyone who wasn’t named after a Saint-although there aren’t too many of them in Italy-celebrate.
So for all of you spooky ghouls and non-Saint-named heathens out there Happy Halloween and enjoy your All Saint’s Day!
What about you? Did you celebrate Halloween or All Saint’s Day growing up? Do you still celebrate it? What are your favorite family traditions?
* Come back tomorrow for my first NaBloPoMo post … 30 days of postings right here on My Bella Vita for the month of November! Also, check out Judith’s peach crisp for la Buona Cucina Americana.