Friday, November 4, 2011

All Halloween Saints of the Dead Day

There were all sorts of guesses. A ballerina? A fairy? An angel? A sprite? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Really though, it was just a tutu that she wears on regular days and a dollar store wreath wrapped in ribbon. It was something though. Enough to wear to the impromptu Ward Primary (and baby) Halloween (All Saints Day) Party, at least.

Halloween isn't anything big here. I saw a pumpkin or two in a few windows around town. A few kids wore witches hats or carried a devil's trident. But no trick-or-treating and no extravagant costumes. The commercialization of it all has yet to sink roots in Italy. In fact, Halloween day came and went without me really noticing (except the library was closed, darn bridge holiday. . . )

The venerable "Fall Fairy" as my mother-in-law put it.
I got a sort of guilty pleasure out of dressing her up. Maybe Halloween is less a product of commercialism and more a product of parents who want an excuse to put their kids in something ridiculous (or ridiculously cute).

When did she get so grown up? It's like she's saying "Ready for school, Mom. Let's go!"
The party was darling. The new expat in our ward did a great job of orchestrating something simple and fun for the kids. She taught them American games like Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover and others, I drew a few pumpkins, ghosts and bats for kids to color and Brianna made sugar cookies for decorating. The kids even went trick-or-treating around the ward house to different classrooms (to the Elders, the Bishop, and some parents).

I loved how genuine it all seemed. Nothing was over the top. Nothing put anyone out. It was just easy and honest and a way to spend the afternoon with friends.

All Saints Day is November 1st, a National Holiday. Bells in various churches were ringing all day in honor of their patron saints and the holiday in general. Families were out on the streets. There was a real relaxed feel. It's nice to have a holiday where you aren't expected to do anything (except maybe say some extra prayers if you're religious). There was no hype, no gift giving, no extravagance. Just playing in the park together and hanging out in the piazzas.

The 2nd is the Day of the Dead. Aside from lots more bell ringing, I didn't notice much. That being said, we were home much of the day with baby who has a maybe-ear infection (boo). My Italian teacher said if we had made a trip to the cemetery, we would have seen the place packed with people, flowers, and probably lots of crying. The Italians are a very emotive bunch.

But the celebrations don't stop around here. We've got another celebration come Saturday. I just hope the weather cooperates . . .

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