Hello, my little pumpkins! Or were you all Dahmers for Halloween?
Yes, I did move here from Latvia so that I could skip the cold, gloomy and depressing weather, a.k.a. November – February, but one thing I was really worried about was – will the exotic Italy have what it takes to create the Halloween vibe I’m so used to? Will I finally… miss my country?
Let’s see what were the Halloween ingredients for me in my country (ofc I made a list):
- the weather: streets paved by fallen leaves, naked trees, rain and spooky wind, dark afternoons, glitching lights;
- Halloween decorations: shops and cafes putting up Halloween-related things; special offers e.g. Halloween latte; decorating my own house (e.g. with paper ghosts);
- watching horror movies with snacks;
- costumes: I usually dress up for fun with my sisters or for the students that I am teaching.
Did Italy pass? Let’s see.
- The weather: ✅
Streets also paved by fallen leaves, trees not so leafless yet, but they’re getting there; not that rainy but the wind makes the weather spookier, especially during the dark evenings. Glitching lights could be equivalent to the poor street lighting, which is often non-existent on pavements.
2. Halloween decorations: ✅
So, first of all – I went on a pumpkin hunt to see how many pumpkins I could find if I paid more attention. Result – Italians do love their pumpkins (also in their pasta) and now I can’t unsee pumpkins anymore.
I did not decorate my house this year, but rather tried catching the feeling outside of home. Hence, I saw some cool decorations at a party (stay tuned, more pictures later) and drank a bloody cocktail in Botanico. Oh, and found this cool Halloween corner in a book shop in Florence. Does it count? Based on how many times people think I am saying Firenze not Faenza, let’s say yes.
3. Watching horror movies with snacks: 50/50 (not the usual experience)
As this year I am working really hard as a volunteer, I do not really have time for movies, but I did watch ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)’ the new Netflix TV series. I mostly watched it during meal times, so here are some examples of healthy home-cooked Halloweeny foods:
And some cool Halloween snacks I found in supermarkets (Conad and Lidl) and ate on separate occasions. Extra point for the variety.
4. Costumes: ✅✅✅
This gets 10/10 as not only I wore a costume but also showed it off in a party. Thank you Italy for making the 1st of November a holiday! (we don’t have that in Latvia)
So what are they celebrating?
‘The celebration of all the saints is followed on Wednesday 2 November by All Souls’ Day, a Catholic tradition of mourning the dearly departed.’
‘In Italy this is a particularly important day, when people gather to visit family graves.’ (wantedinrome)
But it’s not only in Italy.
So it’s a holiday also in Lithuania. And in Estonia ‘the All Saints public holiday was moved from a fixed date of 1 November to a public holiday on the Saturday during the period between 31 October and 6 November.’ Nice, I feel deprived.
So because the next day was free, we were up for a Halloween party. And look – Kairos was organizing one in the city center! We ate the tortillas and got ready. This is what passers-by saw (plus a witch and me in fishnets) (thankfully it was still warm):
So, what’s the verdict? Looks like it’s quite possible to have a very spooky Halloween in Faenza, Italy. Autumn starts here a bit later, lacking the cold temperatures, but, as I hate the cold, that even works in favor of this beautiful place. Also, did not quite have the scary movie+snacks combo, yet I had better things to do. And I did enjoy the carrots, okay?
Therefore, for everyone who is worried about not getting some festive feelings just because they are far away from home, i can say – you can always find the things you are looking for, if you pay enough attention and make the most of it.
I am still seeing pumpkins.