Every year on October 31st, children and adults from all over the world celebrate Halloween with costumes, sweets, and scary stories. Of course the same can be said of Halloween in Spain, but the country also has its own traditions when it comes to celebrating Halloween and the following All Saints’ Day. In this article, we will find out how Halloween is celebrated throughout Spain.
Halloween in Spain: Galicia
Coming from its northern Celtic roots, Galicia is where Halloween is most celebrated. Here, the night of 31 October is known as ‘Night of the Calacus’, or Pumpkin Night. Galicians celebrate it by dressing, burning bonfires, and performing mysterious rituals.
You can also experience the traditional Galician burning. It is made with orujo liqueur, sugar, lemon peel, and whole coffee beans. It is prepared in a pumpkin and is served after being burned and reciting the traditional spell of hiding, which is said to protect from evil.
Halloween in Spain: All Saints Day
It is important to note, that while Spain has been strongly influenced by people like the USA when it comes to Halloween, the most important part of their celebrations comes the following day on All Saints 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 home towns to place flowers and candles on the tombs of their relatives.
However, it is not a totally gloomy celebration, especially in Cadiz, where the festival of Tosantos is held. This festival includes a lively street market, parades, and activities for children.
Halloween in Spain: Catalonia:
In Catalonia, and especially in Barcelona, All Saints Day and the surrounding days are celebrated with the Castanyada festival. The streets are full of chestnut stands and people come to enjoy the different activities and concerts that take place every year.
A scarier 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 sorcery. Many of these cases took place in this city and every year are celebrated with the Witchcraft Festival and its dramatic recreations, which re-enact the events of that dark time.
Halloween in Spain: Food
When you think about Halloween, one of the first things that 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 is the ‘Huesos de Santo’ or Saint’s Bones. These are delicious marzipan buns stuffed with cream and are traditionally eaten on All Saints’ Day.
In addition to the 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? Tell us in the comments!