The gifts of the dead, or what they do in Sicily for Halloween

Every country has its own traditions associated with the last days of October and the first of November, the most famous is surely Halloween, the American festivity largely adopted in the Western world. In Italy though, especially in Sicily, there are some ancient traditions related to this time of the year, they are deeply rooted and probably even more fascinating than the night of witches.

More than October 31st eve or All Saints day, Sicilians celebrate November 2nd, All souls day, to remember their deceased loved ones, and they have a special way to do that. According to a local legend, the dead rise from their graves during the night between November 1 and 2 to go back to their houses. Their intentions though are anything but evil: they come back to bring gifts to the children! The typical presents are sweets and toys, traditionally hidden inside the house. 

You should see the kids’ faces when, in the morning, their parent tell them “the dead have come!”: they couldn’t be happier, and they start running around the house looking for the gifts the dead brought them.

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