Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Halloween in America is called la Festa di Ognisanti in Italy

And here we are! Ecco ci qua!  California's Indian Summer/Fall, October (ottobre in Italiano and NOT capitalized), le foglie leaves are turning color and falling all around me. Here in my neighborhood in Redwood City, the wind blows even though it is warm 78 F today. I can hear the leaves (le foglie) falling to the ground (il pavimento) making crunchy sounds-scruch.  I know I say this every season, but Fall (l'autunno) really is my favorite time of year. Metaphorically speaking, I am ready for things to die (morire) and fall away.

So, with ottobre comes Halloween.
In Italy, American-style Halloween (la notte delle streghe) has gained popularity among the younger set and more and more people are dressing up, decorating and taking yet another opportunity to celebrate the commemorative day. Originally, around the time of Halloween, people celebrated an end of summer harvest and collection of the seeds that would bring them to the next planting season in Spring (la  primavera).
Why is Halloween associated with the macabre? Well, naturally because most people fear death and death is inevitable. We see and feel death at the end of the Summer season such that we use anthropomorphic (antropomorfizzare) symbols to help us laugh off the notion of death. Thus I put forth my vocabulary list for Halloween that I've been teaching to my students of Italian.
le zucche d'autunno
la strega vola sulla sua scopa

la zucca di Halloween
la strega
la scopa volante
la mistura della strega

il mantellone
il gatto nero    

il teschio messicano
il castello stregato    
il mostro
il vampiro
il fantasma
la casa stregata

il teschio
lo scheletro
il lupo mannaro
dolcetto o scherzetto?

dolcetto o scherzetto?

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