This year, the National Retail Federation expects that consumers will shell out a record $5.07 billion on costumes, cards, candy and decorations for Halloween. It seems as though Halloween is becoming as big a holiday as Christmas and the Super Bowl!
In Italy, Halloween signals the night before All Saints Day (November 1st) known as Ognisanti and is a national holiday. On November 2nd, Il Giorno dei Morti, All Souls Day, Italian family members visit the cemeteries to honor their deceased loved ones. They sweep and clean away debris from tombs, say prayers, light candles, arrange lots of flowers and have a picnic lunch.
Most likely they will eat ossi dei morti (bones of the dead). These are hard, brittle cookies often shaped in the form of bones, and every region of Italy has a recipe on how to make them.
They are rarely made at home anymore since every pasticerria (pastry shop) sells them. And although ossi dei morti are a sobering reminder of our own mortality, they taste heavenly! Happy Halloween (aka) All Hallow’s Eve.