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28 October 2010

Pumpkin Festival

There's a very nice festival this time of the year in Venzone, a city that was nearly destroyed by the earthquake that struck Friuli in 1976 and that was totally rebuilt in the years afterwards. We went last fall and enjoyed the atmosphere so much, that we were looking forward to repeating the experience this year.

The event is called Pumpkin Festival and it features parades, carving contests, live music, food and many more, creating a magnificent atmosphere of fun.  And all this with free Admission. It's all about sweet taste in the streets of this medieval city: pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin churros and chicken pumpkin sausages. Oh my!

But the most fascinating part is the stands where local sculptors and master chefs show off their skills of carving. Some of the works were really intricate and detailed. There's always beauty in food art, isn't it?

There should be more festivals like this. All that's paganesque like Halloween throws controversy into the laps of religious authorities here. They disagree with its meaning and roots, and try to reinforce our main holidays, which remain All Saints on November 1 and All Souls on November 2. I believe that, as long as we remain respectful, there's nothing wrong in Halloween. It's a  fairy-tale event and you can't control or stop the starting of taking hold the custom of celebrating. 

There's a 'Holyween' crusade here since last year. Young Catholic parishioners spend October 31 hanging pictures of saints from their windows, balconies and front of churches and gathering in the streets to celebrate the eve of All Saints Day. It's a free country,  dudes, please relax! Time for religious conversion is finished.

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