Lifestyle,  Uncategorized


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Halloween is coming and also in Italy, you can find decorations in stores, malls and local shop to celebrate All Saints’ Eve.

Origin of the name

The name Halloween comes from the English All Hallow’s Eve literally “Vigil of All Saints”.

In Ireland, where the party apparently started, the name was contracted in“Hallow E’en“.

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The Celtic tradition

The Irish tradition is linked to Celtic rites and in particular to the Samhain celebrations (Summer’s End).

The peasants lightened fires to thank Gods for the generosity of summer harvest and prepared for winter rest.


In the Celtic calendar, Samhain represents the end of the year and the new year begins on November 1st. While the new year begins on November 1st.

Between the end of the year and the beginning of the new, the legend tells that Samhain called to himself the spirits of the dead and that he led them to the Afterlife.

During the night of Samhain the laws of time and space are annulled and the living and the dead can meet. The wandering spirits can be seen by the living.

The welding with Christianity

The spread of Christianity had to deal with this extremely strong tradition in the Celtic people and in many other people that celebrated rites of passage linked to the end of the summer.

In fact, although the Romans celebrated the dead on May 9, 11 and 13 (the Lemuria), the celebration was moved to November 1st by Pope Gregory III in 835 AD.

Subsequently, Oddone from Cluny in 998 AD entered the Memorial of the dead on November 2nd.

Spreading Halloween in the United States

Irish migrations to the United States has led to the spread of the celebration in the New World too.

There the traditional Celtic appearance tied to the end of summer and the preparation for the winter were lost, while the link to the relationship with the world of the dead survived.

The Halloween celebration made its way into popular culture, becoming a fun occasion, thanks also to the films and TV series that have reinvigorated the popular imagination.

Even if the neopagans cult continues to celebrate the traditional Celtic rites.

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Jack O’Lantern

The traditional pumpkin with a carved face lit by a candle inside is the legacy of the Irish legend Jack and the devil.

It seems that Jack was a clever drunkard who met the Devil one evening. Jack promised the devil his soul if he turned into a golden coin for a last drink. However, when the Devil turned into a coin, Jack slipped it into his pocket near a silver cross, to prevent it from turning back.

Jack freed the Devil after he had the guarantee that for the next ten years they would not see each other again.

Ten years later, the Devil returned and Jack promised his soul in exchange for an apple to be picked from a tree.

When the Devil turned into an apple, Jack carved a cross on the bark of the tree.

In exchange for freedom, Jack managed to get the Devil to promise that he would never welcome him to Hell.

However, Jack’s life was dissolute and full of sins, so that when he showed up at the gates of Paradise he was rejected.

Jack then headed to Hell, because of the deal with the Devil he was rejected there too.

The Devil was happy to see that the one who had mocked him several times ended up wandering the world as a soul in pain.

Jack told the Devil he was cold and the Devil threw him a burning ember which he placed inside a turnip he had with him.

Since then, Jack and his turnip (which after the discovery of America became a pumpkin), wander the world and the night of Halloween, when the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is torn, it is possible to meet him.

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Italian traditions

In Italy there are similar traditions between the end of summer and the arrival of November.

At Martis in Sardinia, during Saint Andrew’s Day on October 30th, children and teens roam around the houses shouting “Sant’Andrea takes your hands off” and in return, they get nuts, mandarins, money.

In Tuscany, in the Po valley, in Lazio, in the 50s there were traditions dating back at least until the Nineteenth Century, in which the peasants carved pumpkin or a turnip, placing a candle inside to make jokes (the game of Zozzo in Tuscany, Death in Lazio) or to decorate greyards and houses in Lombardia, Liguria, Emilia Romagna.

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Decorating for Halloween

As seen, Halloween is a party that has to do with the rites of nature, the transition between summer and the arrival of winter, life and death. The decorations naturally reflect all these elements.

I enjoyed browsing Pinterest and looking for a series of ideas to decorate the house and this time I also included mini recipes to organize a party at home.

I choose simple recipes to make with little time and money.

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Home decorations

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Simple Halloween recipes

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Did you know the origins of Halloween and the story of Jack O’Lantern?

Will you celebrate it?

Write it in the comments!

Bye for now!



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