Is Animeddas: legends and traditions of Halloween in Sardinia

  • Published: 20-10-2016
  • Category: Events

Is Animeddas

Sardinians have no doubt: the origin of Halloween is in Sardinia. With only one difference: its name in this ancient land is Is Animeddas. A very peculiar name. And very peculiar are the legends and the traditions regarding the scariest night of the year.

  • Names. Is Animeddas is a mix of rituals and ancient traditions. Depending on the part of Sardinia where you are, it can have different names. So, not only Is Animeddas but also Su mortu mortu, Su Prugadoriu or Is Panixeddas.
  • The souls of the dead. This is the origin of the several legends: in this night, the souls of the dead walk again on the earth.
  • Trick or treat? During the night of Halloween, children wander along the streets of the villages of Sardinia, the face made black by the coal. They knock on the doors and ask for sweets or dried fruit. And repeat this phrase, that is quite similar to “trick or treat”: Seus Benius bit is animeddas, it das fait bit praxeri is animeddas?
  • The laid table. In homes where traditions of All Saints are still alive, there’s a lit candle on a laid table: it’s a sort of ritual to welcome the souls of the dead.
  • The legends. During the night of Halloween, grandparents and parents narrate to grandchildren and children stories and legends of the island of Sardinia. Such as the legend of the janas: tiny fairies with delicate skin who pray in the nuragic temples in the full moon nights.


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