All of you who have in mind the core of Spanish culture, will agree which it revolves around the spirit of hosting festivals and parties. Most from the world knows about the British method of celebrating Halloween, however, if you are in Spain on October 31 in 2010, you might realize it is a big affair here. The festival which came from the essence of remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and the faithful departed is fairly common for most of the civilizations worldwide.
A three-day celebration
Spaniards like everything grand and elaborated. So they celebrate Halloweens for three days you start with el Dia de las Brujas (Day with the Witches). The second day (November 1st) is Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day). Halloween is just not an American affair here and has now a traditional feel that is akin using the people of Spain whorrrre known for their warmth and hospitality.
On November 2nd, the concluding day of this festival is recognized as the Dia de los Muertos (the Day on the dead). Spaniards usually do not consider this like a commercial holiday. For them this festival is dependant on honoring the dead and celebrating the continuity of life and thanking the Lord for giving us this life.
Different provinces and regions of Spain follow different rituals within these three days. Halloween in Galicia in Northern Spain is widely known with more enthusiasm and pumpkin carving competitions, costume parties, bonfires fill the whole area. People happily sip a solid alcoholic drink named as quemada after reciting a spell (esconxuro).
Halloween in Barcelona and Catalonia is a bit different affair and also the bars and clubs are packed with special nights and costume parties. Enjoy the Catalan tradition of La Castanyada and take in the small Catalan cakes ”panellets” manufactured from marzipan, almonds, nuts and various other stuffs. Also be an element of various events, game shows, music concerts and also other activities. Eat from your stalls that will be filled with seasonal delicacies for example castanyes (chestnuts), sweet wine, savories, sweet potatoes as well as other delicacies.
There could be other fun activities in Barcelona during this time period, though the locals will not forget to spend respect with their dead. Make sure you look at the city’s magnificent cemeteries to witness these mass gatherings. Some with the popular cemeteries are Montjuïc, Poblenou, and Les Corts.
Honoring and remembering the dead
Even though Halloween in Spain certainly includes a commercial side, you’ll witness families gathering for the graves of deceased family and friends with flowers, offerings, holy water, refreshments on the second day from the festival.
Night on the Pumpkins
Halloween and also the cut-outs of pumpkins work together in the memory of everyone who celebrates it or has witnessed it in movies and TV series. Just like in Britain, around the first day of Halloween, in Galicia pumpkins are carved and illuminated to cover respect on the dead.
A Zombie March!
In the Southern part of Spain, from the city of Malaga, Halloween is marked having a large zombie march from the streets. You can witness the participants decked out as witches, ghosts, goblins, zombies, vampires, Dracula, Frankenstein etc. roaming around about the streets and scaring people. There are competitions organized to inform scary stories as there are an eerie environment throughout.
Fiesta de Tosantos
In the area of Cadiz, during Halloween holidays street performances and concerts are organized. Also you can experience the fruit and vegetable stalls that will display characters from some recent political scandals. The cut-outs and models made from fruits and vegetables are very mind-boggling.