The torrential rain that has been falling on the city for the last few days continued its damp and miserable course and so Halloween – one of the new festas in Italy and well liked by the kids – turned into a damp and fairly miserable affair for those brave enough go out on the streets. Inside in the dry and warmth of some of the restaurants in Barga Vecchia and at the Halloween party inside the Barga Jazz Club you could find some smiling faces … hmm, not sure that there should even be smiling smiling faces on Halloween, but whatever. On what seems like a rerun of last year, as I write this I can hear a kind of firework war going on outside my window between two groups of “young adults” who seem intent on showing which group can make the loudest explosions.
Last year (article here) the war was held in Parco Kennedy – this year due to the “inclement weather” they have moved their location to the covered area in Barga Vecchia just below Cafe Capretz and discovered to their evident delight that the stone walls and vaulted ceilings give a huge boost to the sound of their fireworks. Local residents will no doubt join in with their delight – not.
The original Halloween was for adults and was a pretty scary event all things considered. It was taken across the Atlantic to the the States by waves of immigrants where over the years it was transformed into a more commercially minded, child orientated kind of party and from there it was re-exported back to Europe in its mutated form.
It is a relatively new phenomenon here in Italy and people have not yet really worked out just what is supposed to happen. They know that there is a good deal of dressing up to be done with masks and stuff and so what actually appears on the night is a slightly “horrored” up version of carnival but in October and not February.
Step back in time and have a wander through some of the archives of Halloween in Barga