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Halloween is a tradition that was brought over to Italy fairly recently from the United States. It did not originate there, but it is a holiday that is widely celebrated in that country. It was not until the last couple of years that Italians started “celebrating” the event that is so popular in the USA.
If you are in Italy celebrating Halloween, and we hope that you are, there are a couple of things that you should know about how Italians celebrate this holiday.
For the older generations it was not celebrated at all when they were younger, they did not dress up, and go “trick-or-treating,” but their kids do celebrate it. Depending on the age, younger adults (teens and individuals in their 20s) celebrate by going out to clubs, or going to Halloween costume parties. If you are in Florence, you will see signs go up a week or so ahead of time, advertising for Halloween costume parties in clubs and other bars around the area.
The younger generation, (babies to teens) sometimes celebrates by dressing up in costumes, and going “trick-or-treating”. Costumes here however tend to be a little confused and it’s not unusual to see some Batmans, princesses and teletubbies (although admittedly the latter are pretty scary!) “Trick and treat” is certainly not conducted through neighbourhood streets, and if carried out would be strictly in a family/friends situation. Pumpkin carving with gruesome faces is not a tradition here; as you would expect in Italy, pumpkins are for eating!
Are there Halloween traditions in Italy? Not really, it’s not deeply entrenched into the Italian calendar like many other holidays, and what has been imported from the USA is widely misunderstood. It is almost like an excuse for a second Italian carnival which happens in the month of February.
Spread the word! If you are from a country which celebrates Halloween, and are here in Florence for 31st October, make sure that you tell your Italian friends and contacts what it’s really about and what its real origins are. You do know, right?
Tags: halloween, pumpkins, trick or treat. local holidays