Halloween has now officially entered the list of the most anticipated and fun events in the world! Who, at least once in their life, has not knocked on the doors of the neighborhood hidden behind a terrifying mask? Also in the Cinque Terre there is a long tradition inhabited by dead people coming back to life and children who buzz from house to house; the Ligurian Halloween, however, is celebrated on November 2nd …
The festival of the dead and monsters
All the inhabitants of the Cinque Terre know that the night between November 1st and 2nd the dead return to visit the living. Although this might sound frightening, here on the coast of La Spezia nobody is intimidated: everyone, on the contrary, respects some rites that may perhaps result – how to say? – a bit extravagant! But in Cinque Terre is the tradition that counts! Therefore, since long ago, on November 2nd, one gets up early, cleans the house and make sure to leave on the table the food with which the dead will refresh themselves after the long journey home. In Monterosso, all the windows and doors of the houses are left open to facilitate entry for the missing loved ones; as evening comes, some characteristic multi-shaped candles come on, the officieu, whose lamp is necessary to indicate the way to go. On Christmas Eve, the villagers gather in the church to pray together. After the solemn function, the children wear the remains, a garland of boiled chestnuts and “carle” apples, and go from house to house asking for “zemin p’è annime di morti”, a special soup to feed the dead.
According to tradition, the dead remain in the village for twelve days, during which it is customary to eat “stokke and bacilli” (stockfish and bacilli), chickpea soup (lean chickpea and vegetable soup) and boiled chestnuts for dessert. It is not uncommon for large yellow pumpkins to be emptied and engraved with strange designs!
Celebrate your Halloween here in the Cinque Terre, where the traditional return of the dead is … more alive than ever!