Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ognissanti

Today's All Saints' Day, as with many Catholic holidays it's public holiday in Italy. And when Italy has public holidays generally speaking everywhere's closed. I was amazed this morning to pass three open bars on the way to work, but by the time I got home one of them had closed - even though they had a sign in the window saying they'd be open all day. How very Italian...

With it being All Saints today is everyone's onomastico. In Catholic tradition every day is a different saint's feast day, and everyone who has a saint's name has their own name day or onomastico. Historically the onomastico was as important as a person's birthday, especially in the Southern regions of the country; and even now people receive gifts (mostly small) or simply auguri when it's their saint's day.

Having a Welsh name I don't strictly have an onomastico. The Italian version of my name's Nerina, and apparently my onomastico is May 12th. I never remember, partly because it isn't my real name, and partly because I didn't grow up with this tradition of having a name day. So I'm sort of counting this as my onomastico today. Now where are my presents??

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