Halloween in Spain: How is it celebrated?
Every year, on the 31st October, children and adults alike all over the world celebrate Halloween with costumes, sweets and scary stories. Of course, the same can be said for Halloween in Spain, but the country also has its own traditions when it comes to celebrating Halloween and the following All Saint’s Day. In this article, we’re going to tell you all about how Halloween is celebrated all over Spain.
Halloween in Spain: Galicia
Stemming from its northern Celtic roots, Galicia is where Halloween is most celebrated. Here, the night of October 31st is known as ´Noite dos Calacús’, or Night of the Pumpkins. Galicians celebrate it by dressing up, burning bonfires and performing mysterious rituals.
You can also try the traditional Galician, the queimada. It’s made with orujo liqueur, sugar, lemon rind, and whole coffee beans. It’s prepared in a pumpkin and is served after being set on fire and reciting the traditional esconxuro spell, that is said to protect from evil.
Halloween in Spain: All Saint’s Day
It’s important to note, that while Spain has been heavily influenced by the likes of the US when it comes to Halloween, the most important part of their celebrations comes the day after, on All Saint’s Day. This is a solemn national holiday in Spain, which honours the memory of deceased loved ones. On this day, many people travel to their hometowns to lay flowers and candles at the graves of their family members.
It’s not a totally gloomy celebration, though, especially in Cádiz where the Tosantos festival is held. This festival includes a lively street market, parades, and activities for children.
Halloween in Spain: Catalonia
In Catalonia, and Barcelona especially, All Saint’s Day and the surrounding days are celebrated with the Castanyada festival. Streets are lined with chestnut stalls and people come to enjoy the different activities and concerts that are held each year.
A spookier experience awaits in the small town of Sant Feliu Sasserra. In the 17th century, 400 women all over Catalonia were killed for their supposed links to witchcraft. Many of these cases happened in this town and every year they are commemorated with the Witch Festival and its dramatic recreations, that reenact the events of that dark time.
Halloween in Spain: Food
When you think of Halloween, one of the first things to come to mind is sweets, and Spain also has some traditional sweets for the season. One of the most common festive foods of a Spanish Halloween are the ‘Huesos de Santo’ or Saint’s Bones. These are delicious little marzipan rolls filled with custard and are traditionally eaten on All Saint’s Day.
Apart from sweets, it is also customary to eat roasted chestnuts throughout the season, and their aroma is always associated with cold days and the festive season.
How is Halloween celebrated in your country? Let us know in the comments!
If you want to experience Halloween in Spain, check out our website and book a Spanish course in Spain for the autumn.