Saturday, October 31, 2009

Does Italy Celebrate Halloween?

Well it is Halloween in America and all across the country, children are dressing up and going door to door "trick or treating" for candy. While this practice is the norm for us Americans, its roots come from Europe when immigrants came to America bringing their cultural traditions.

In Italy, Halloween has been becoming more and more popular and while children are not yet going door to door, Italians are spending more and more money on Halloween decorations and parties. All Saints Day is the more popular holiday which was created by Pope Boniface IV to replace the pagan holiday honoring the dead. Even today, the Catholic Church condemns the Halloween celebrations as an American pagan holiday despite its European origin.

While its popularity grows in Italy, Halloween probably won't surpass All Saints Day as the dominant holiday but young adults are increasingly enjoying dressing up and being festive. This is a good indication that Italians are welcome to trying new festive cultures while never abandoning their own.

The more festive holiday Italy observes that people dress up is Carnevale, which is Italy's version of Mardi Gras which occurs in the spring. The holidays haven't changed but how they are observed has. So in truth, All Saints Day is the main holiday in Italy while many still have costume Halloween parties. Halloween has become another money making opportunity for Italian businesses and it's appeal and profitability ensures it's growth, yet for a country where Catholicism is still highly influential, All Saints Day trumps devilish Halloween in Italy.

For all of those going out tonight..... Have fun and be safe.

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