Appreciation For The Connection Of Life And Death

Novembre 2 is the Day of the Dead (Giorno dei Morti or in Sicilian, Un juornu re muorti), also known as All Souls Day. Sicilians, who have a profound appreciation for the connection of life and death, spend this holiday recognizing their dead loved ones by visiting their graves, often enjoying a picnic while at the cemetery. To avoid scaring children too much with the summoning the dead, which is the object of the feast, there is a tradition of the youngsters waking up to find toys or sweets that have been left for them by the visiting dead relatives. Prior to the mid-20th century, that most often meant frutta Martorana (marzipan sculpted to look like fruit, such as the figs pictured, which were created by my friend, master artisan Alessandro Marchese) and sugar dolls, called pupaccene, which are still made today explicitly for this holiday by a handful of artisan sweet shops in Sicily.

Buona festa!

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