Shiver, shiver, the magare are back at the Capovaticano Resort Thalasso spa
The best-known legend describing the origin of Halloween is undoubtedly that of the Jack o' Lanterns. This tradition eventually reached the United States, where the holiday is now a commercialized occasion. But few people know that Halloween has Calabrian roots, tracing back to the province of Vibo Valentia, a few kilometers from Tropea. Tradition states that for the Feast of the Dead, it was customary to scoop out the pumpkins’ insides and carve a spooky, skull-like face into the front. ("Coccalu d'u mortu"-in the Serra San Bruno dialect). Groups of kids would go from house to house seeking treats by asking, "Mi lu pagati lu coccalu?" ("Will you pay me for the dead man's skull?") –very similar to trick-or-treat. The children’s goal was to appease the souls of the dead, a superstitious gesture to quell the fear of death. The tradition even stretched beyond Serra San Bruno, spreading to the towns around Reggio and Catanzaro.
Halloween aside, since ancient times, Calabria has been fertile ground for creating beliefs, spells, and the evil eye. The most prominent figures were the magare, mysterious creatures identified in Calabria as witches but who were actually naturopathy experts with ancestral knowledge of herbs and natural remedies endowed with great folk wisdom. These much-feared women were also respected because, through imprecations and powerful tools, they could stimulate people's spirits of hate or love, have knowledge of the occult, and craft powerful love potions. They were the only ones who could invoke or ward off the "evil eye," and when women were suffering from migraines, they recited a healing spell. Even today, when a calabrese yawns too much or has a headache, they’ll ask, "Will you do the “sfascino” for me?"--whether or not they’re a believer.
It was common for the magare to appear in the streets at night with loose hair and an aura of great mystery. Legend says that to keep them outside, locals would place a broom and a bag of salt (or rice) grains right in front of the doors, so, instead of entering the homes, they’d count the broom’s threads or the grains in the sac until dawn as sunlight was their mortal enemy.
But if you could have these knowledgeable women reveal the secret of bewitching others with only the power of your charm, would you jump at the chance?
Take advantage of the return of the magare at Capovaticano Resort from October 29 to November 1. Partake in beauty rituals inspired by their secret recipes containing local plants and products, such as the must-do fresh pumpkin pulp treatments with anti-inflammatory, healing, nourishing, and anti-aging properties. Imagine enjoying a facial body ritual based on natural products and performed with gentle, enveloping magical techniques...you’ll feel magically reborn!
And if you don't want to sacrifice taste, immerse yourself in a “frightening” popular tradition by participating in the “Calabrian Halloween” cooking class. Autumn ingredients stand front and center in tasting menus featuring pumpkin, porcini mushrooms, Sila potatoes, Pollino Black Truffle, and game.
Can you already smell the aroma of autumn in Calabria?
Discover the packages and let nature bewitch you