Halloween in Spain is a three-day celebration:
1 – El Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches)
2 – The following day is Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) and the celebrations are concluded with
3 – The Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the dead) on November 2nd.
A focus on honouring the dead
With costumes on display in the shops and candy tantalising children across the country, Halloween in Britain is an inherently commercial affair. Whilst Halloween in Spain certainly has a commercial side, it is much more about honouring loved ones who have passed on and celebrating the continuity of life.
On the Dia de Todos los Santos it is a custom for families to gather at the graves of deceased loved ones with flowers, holy water, food and drink, as a way of celebrating their life and spending time with one another.
Night of the Pumpkins
Different regions of Spain celebrate Halloween with different customs and traditions. In Galicia, for example, in North-West Spain, October 31st is referred to as Noite los Calacus (Night of the Pumpkins). Similar to in the UK, pumpkins are carved and decorated to mark and celebrate Halloween.
More Special Food, of course…
“Panellets” are a traditional sweet from Cataluña, prepared for “Dia de Todos los Santos” or All Saints Day and served with moscatel or “cava,” Spanish sparkling wine. It is made of equal parts ground almonds and sugar, formed into balls and decorated with pine nuts, rolled in cocoa powder, candied cherries or coconut flakes. They can also be flavored with coffee or cinnamon. The most popular type is the one rolled in pine nuts.
Fiesta de Tosantos
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the exciting city of Cadiz this Halloween, no doubt you’ll catch the wonderful Fiesta de Tosantos. This vibrant event comprises of street performances, concerts, and market stalls doused in fruit, vegetables and other products decorated to resemble characters from recent political and other scandals – the mind boggles!
A Zombie March!
Meanwhile, much further south in the city of Malaga, Halloween is marked with a large Zombie March through the streets. As well as zombies, participants of this frighteningly colourful procession are dressed as witches, goblins, vampires and other creatures we associate with Halloween.