November 2nd has a special place in the memory of every individual, who grew up in Sicily. Why? Because All Souls’ Day is called “u iuornu re murticieddi”, in order to remember all the loved ones, who passed away. This day has ancient origins, probably attributable even before the most famous Christians celebrations, such as the wildly beloved Christmas.
On this day, parents are used to make gifts to their children, that are usually toys or sweets, especially sugar made fruit (in Sicilian called “Frutta Martorana”, see picture of the cover by Dolcé in Ragusa), which is usually placed inside a wicker basket filled on the evening before and hidden somewhere in the house by the parents themselves as a treasure hunt. After that, most families use to go the cemeteries to visit the headstones of their beloved ones and the children come along to thank the “murticieddi” of the family for the beautiful gifts just received.
However, since 1943 American and other international traditions, like the Christmas tree or Halloween, are slowly taking the place of this very Sicilian custom. This is why it is important to continue to talk about it and spread the word.
But the “frutta martorana” is not the only typical sweet tradition of this day. In fact, especially in the Ragusa Shire people use to cook the “frittelle” (see picture below by RosyBar in Modica), which could be described as fried batter balls covered in sugar.
Last but not least, don’t miss to check the poem of the great Andrea Camilleri called “Il Giorno dei morti” (All Souls’ Day) below and make sure you enjoy some of the delicacies of this day if you are in the Ragusa Shire.
Credits for the pics to Pasticceria Dolcè in Ragusa and RosyBar in Modica.