Sunday, 20 October 2013

Halloween as it should be.

L'ANEME DELLE MORTE - SAGRE DELLA ZUCCA
THE SOULS OF THE DEAD - THE FESTIVAL OF THE PUMPKIN


How wrong we were when we thought Serramonacesca became the ghouls, ghosts & demons capital of Italy for Halloween.  From all the activity, plotting, planning and excitement of the village in the weeks leading up to the 31st October, we could have been forgiven for thinking so.

We really got into the swing of things.  We KNOW how to do Halloween.



When we dressed up as Frankinstein's bride (me) and the Grim Reaper (KP) to add some atmospherics to our Vin Brulle (mulled wine) stand, we thought we looked just the part.  Wrong.



No-one else was dressed up.  And it was politely pointed out that all "Americanisms" were kept at bay. This was Halloween in it's ancient, traditional sense, and proud Serramonacesca was guarding its traditions jealously.  As it turned out, you didn't need to dress up at all, the atmosphere over the two days was incredible.

In Abruzzo, and particularly in Serramonacesca, the festivities of 31 October/1 November are steeped in the ancient rituals of Paganism neatly merged with Christianity (as are so many Pagan rituals).  It is said that on the foggy evening of All Saints and All Souls, the departed (represented by carved pumpkin heads) roam the streets stopping at houses to ask for alms (i.e., Halloween as it used to be).

And Serra does it brilliantly.  The old "centro storico" of the town is taken over for the festivities.  The narrow streets are lit by torches, the cantina's (cellars) of the old houses are taken over for wine tasting, mulled wine, vino cotto, speciality beer, deli meats, roasted chestnuts, dried fruits, cakes and candies.  There is a large marquee serving a traditional "Abruzzese" supper to rows and rows of tables, wine freely flowing.  Through the streets there are story tellers, fairy tales, street performers, street theatre, puppets and musicians.  In the piazza there are bonfires with chestnuts roasting above.

And not a single Grim Reaper to be seen.

Serramonacesca (not us) KNOW how Halloween should  be done.

Well worth a visit: 31 October & 1 November (programme and links below)















Website:  http://www.anemedelemorte.it

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laneme-De-LE-MORTE/517720308313626

Where we are:  http://goo.gl/maps/xbeqI

PROGRAMME


Wednesday 30 October  21:00
" Pecure alla Callare "
Fixed menu supper in the marquee, limited numbers, reservation required.
Info and reservations - > 338.7987439


Thursday, 31 October

19:00  "Opening of the Festival "

21:00
Performance of groups of Abruzzo music, singing and dancing around the fire.

22:30
" Du barrel ... la gare "
Battle of the Accordians!

Friday, November 1

15:00
Traditions, fairy tales, legends and witchcraft through the streets of the historic center with traveling shows of street artists, puppets, storytellers, face painting, etc.




17:30
“La Checocce chiĆ² belle”
Competition for the most beautiful pumpkin.  Five judges will give a score from 6 to 10 to the pumpkins (strictly lit with a candle inside).
Free registration until 17:00

19:00

19:00  "Opening of the Festival "


22:00 PM
ZARRAFOLK
Reggae Abruzzo live.







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