Today is the day...you are eating all sorts of candy at work and anxiously awaiting the trick or treaters this evening (or perhaps going to a party yourself). Well, I am happy to note that Halloween has arrived in Venice. But its not what you are thinking. I dont remember any reference to it last year when I was here at this time. Now, there are a few stores that have some happy orange pumpkin decorations (you know, triangle eyes and nose and one crooked tooth). They havent quite reached the costume stage or the carving stage and I seriously doubt trick or treating will be going on in this endless labryinth of a city. But it is refreshing to see Halloween as a sweet (no pun intended) and harmless holiday celebration.
I am nauseated by the American obsession with evil and sex for this holiday. What is wrong with our country? Why cant we just have a fun holiday without people getting all bent out of shape about witches and demons. They talk about it endlessly on the news and schools this time of year. They change the name to be Harvest Festival in order to align with the disgusting habit of political correctness. Its over the top. Remember as a kid, we used to watch Bewitched on TV and we read Bedknobs and Broomsticks.....they were both witches and none of us grew up tainted by it. If you raise your kids in the right environment with a healthy sense of respect and fear for life in general, they you shouldnt have to worry about Harry Potter. But if you become an alarmist (such as the Global Warming people), then you might as well shut yourself in the house for the rest of your life. Perhaps this is the problem....children arent being raised in the same way anymore. But I should get off my soapbox because I am sure I have offended many by now!
However, tomorrow is a national holiday here in Italy--November 1--All Saints Day. This is a celebration of all the saints, known and unknown from all time past. In this case, saints refers to martyrs. November 2 then becomes a celebration for All Soul's Day so that the rest of the dead are not left out of the process. Obviously, this is a Catholic tradition and not so much a Protestant one. I kind of like the idea of having a day to remember the departed but I cant help but think that you would often remember the departed in your own family often throughout the year? I guess this is a gentle reminder to remember how precious life is (or at least that is how I am going to look at it). From what I understand, however, most businessess are closed tomorrow and great flocks of pilgramages will be heading toward the cemetary island here. I might have to take a peek at this process tomorrow and head to the cemetary just to get an idea if it is truly a holiday that many participate in or if it is just another day off from work.