Today’s ‘phrase of the week’ is part of our Italian Halloween Word series. On the days leading up to Halloween, we’ll post a word that is related to this spooky time of year. Enjoy! 🦇
Despite being an American invention, Halloween (which is pronounced ‘alloween without the initial ‘h‘ in Italian) has become increasingly popular in Italy over the last decade, much to the chagrin of the older, more traditional generation.
Young people and adults alike enjoy dressing up in scary costumes and attending special costume parties held by their local nightclubs or restaurants, and more children than ever before take part in trick-or-treating (known as dolcetto o scherzetto in Italian).
At the nursery school where I used to work in Turin, for example, the teachers would take the children trick-or-treating around the local shops. In exchange for a Halloween song (canzone), the shop owners who were happy to participate would offer us freshly baked cookies (biscotti) and packaged sweets.
The fact that Halloween is a borrowed rather than a native tradition in Italy means that you probably won’t hear people wishing each other a Happy Halloween! in the context of daily life. One situation where you might hear it is at a party (festa) but that’s about it. Of course, as the popularity of the holiday increases over the years, this may well change!
So with that word of forewarning out of the way, here are three possible ways of translating Happy Halloween!
(Literally: Good Halloween!)
(Literally: Happy Halloween!)
Buona Festa di Halloween!
(Literally: Good Halloween Holiday!)
Did you know that…?
In Italy, people typically dress up in spooky costumes at Halloween, with the most popular being the witch (strega), vampire (vampiro) and devil (diavolo). If you dress up as something that doesn’t fall into the spooky category, such as a fairy or a superhero, you might get some funny looks. Traditionally all other kinds of costumes are reserved for another Italian festival that takes place in February: Carnevale!