Friday, November 1, 2013

Differences: Halloween

I was so happy to find zucca di Halloween (zucca = pumpkin/squash) that rivaled those available in the United States!
Today I wanted to post about my favorite gelateria in Bologna but after scanning Facebook this morning and seeing the picture below, I thought it would be interesting to share with you some of the difference between Halloween in the US and Halloween here in Italy. 

The children of God do not participate in Halloween
It is a satanic is not a joke!
Avoid to go into the stores that display these symbols!
...they are children of evil!
Halloween is almost non-existent here compared to the states. There are very few trick-or-treaters and even less adults dress-up, there are no decorations in stores, or special Halloween candy. Over the five years I have lived here, Halloween has been gaining a little bit more popularity. Especially the business seem to be catching on and they are starting to realize that Halloween is a good opportunity to make more money – for instance, this year it was not uncommon to see pumpkin shaped cookies at many of the bakeries around Bologna. I had always assumed that the lack of Halloween celebration here was due to the fact that the holiday is more of an Anglo-Saxon tradition and therefore the idea had simply not become as widespread here. I still believe that is a part of the explanation; however, this year I learned that a big reason the holiday is not widely celebrated here is because of the Pope and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church and groups associated with the church have repeatedly condemned the holiday. The have said that the holiday is dangerous, an adoration of Satan, and that it glorifies the culture of death. To me, these ideas are shocking seeing as all of my ideas surrounding Halloween are tied to memories from childhood of dressing up with friends, collecting candy, and having fun. There was always so much joy tied to the holiday of Halloween, it is surprising to learn that it is viewed by some as such a genuine threat.
Living abroad has constantly forced me to question things I would have never given a second thought to and to re-examine my beliefs and my point of view. Although I do not agree with the Catholic Church and I plan to continue to celebrate Halloween as a silly, fun holiday; I greatly appreciate that living in a different country continues to force me to look differently at situations, widen my perspective, and question my opinions.

Jack-o-lanterns from our Pumpkin Carving Party
Happy Halloween to everyone that celebrated!

What about that gelato post where I tell you about my favorite gelato in Bologna? I will be putting up that post this weekend so make sure to check back.

1 comment :

  1. It seems odd that the church would object to Halloween, since All Hallows' Eve--shortened to Halloween-- has always been the day before All Souls' Day, a church holiday. Nice jack-o-lanterns, Alex.


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