Many things come to mind when this month arrives: the mild climate, the yellow and red leaves, the chestnuts to be roasted on the fire… but for most people, this month represents one thing.
Well yes! Although the scariest festival of the year takes place on the last day of the month, praise spreads from all over on the stroke of October 1st. Just give a simple look on social media and we immediately understand how many people, all over the world, love to frolic with sprites and goblins.
And I think somewhere, someone are already preparing a marathon of themed movies to watch.
Between masks and jokes, explorations of the occult world and challenges to those who tell the scariest story, there are those who prefer to spend the scariest night of the year in peace (obviously without giving up the pleasure of sweets), or, if you are a artist, to create endless themed drawings.
Halloween has Celtic origins and developed mainly
in the USA, but over time it has taken hold throughout the rest of the world. Italy, Germany, Japan ... there is no country that has not integrated this festival into its culture. Yet, according
to certain sources, it would not be a celebration with predominantly Celtic origins: some scholars claim that it may derive from an ancient Roman festival dedicated to the goddess
Obviously the theories and opinions do differ at some point, except the Celts had a brilliant idea, so thank them otherwise there would be no trick or treating today.
Paternity aside, they all agree that it was intended to honor the dead. Over time the tradition has changed and this has not been frowned upon by the Christian church which began to regard it as a celebration to the forces of evil and to Satan. The most bigoted have tried, and still try, to eliminate this party by using the most absurd excuses.
Halloween is still celebrated today in that span of days called "All Saints' Day".
Curiously, even though we think Halloween is one
of a kind, there are celebrations in the world that are similar as they are ancient and traditional.
In Italy, for example, there are many! Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
- In Serra San Bruno, in Calabria, there is the centuries-old tradition of "Coccalu di muortu". The kids, after having carved a pumpkin reproducing a skull (in the Serrese dialect, in fact, "Coccalu di muortu"), wander around the streets of the town holding their creation in their hands and, either knocking at the doors of the houses or addressing people directly they meet on the street, begin with the phrase: "Mi lu pagati lu coccalu?" ("Will you pay me for the skull?").
- In Puglia, in Orsara di Puglia, the very ancient night of "fucacost" (fire side by side) is celebrated on the night between 1 and 2 November: bonfires are lit in front of each house (originally made of dry branches of broom) to illuminate the way home to the dead (generally to the souls in purgatory) who would return to find the living that night. On the embers of these bonfires, meat is cooked that everyone eats in the street together with passers-by. On the 1st of November, in the main square, the traditional competition of decorated pumpkins takes place (called the "cocce priatorje" - the heads of purgatory).
- In San Nicandro Garganico, a town in the province of Foggia, on November 1st it is customary to go from door to door to ask for an offer."Damm anma the mort, ca t snnò sfasc the door" (give me the soul of the dead, or i jot down the door). This custom is very reminiscent of the trick or treat, typical of Anglo-Saxon countries.
As you can see, Halloween has more than one face
and one culture.
In our times, entertainment aside; Halloween is big business.
Think of the sweets and costumes that are sold, or the parties about to be organized, and who knows that there are also some horror films ready to come out for that day.
Covid permitting, unfortunately.
There are people who do not hesitate to spend a lot of money for a cool costume, the more fearless will decide to create the costume themselves.
From this point of view, it cannot be denied that Halloween is not a strong source of inspiration for everyone.
For an artist like me it can represent the creation of themed drawings or monstrous characters; cooks and chefs, on the other hand, will come up with desserts and dishes and even the jewelery shop takes advantage of this to create necklaces and earrings with bones and pumpkins.
Whoever you are, or whatever you do, if Halloween fuels your creative flame, use it while you can!
As for me, a nice dinner with my boyfriend is enough for me.