Halloween, Todos los Santos, Día de Muertos or La Castanyada
On the 31st of October and 1st of November, depending where we come from, the place where we live or the group of friends we have, we will probably celebrate one of these festivities: Halloween, Todos los Santos, Día de los Muertos or La Castanyada.
Halloween, the most popular among young people and those coming from English-speaking countries, is celebrated on the night of the 31st of October. Although its origins have little to do with what we celebrate today, many people will dress themselves preferably as a terrifying character to go around the neighbourhood picking up some sweets with the traditional ‘trick or treat’, most will go to some of the many thematic parties celebrated that night in discos and bars, and others will enjoy any of the activities that the city offers during the days around the 31st. Happy Halloween to everyone.
Todos los Santos, or El Día de Todos los Santos, is celebrated mostly in Spain on the 1st of November – although in many South American countries it is celebrated as well with subtle differences. El Día de Todos los Santos is a solemn celebration in which the dead are remembered. On this day, many families go to the cemeteries or the place where the remains of their loved ones are, to bring them flowers and pray for them. Regarding food, there are some typical desserts in this season such as ‘huesos de santo’ (Saint’s bones literally, which are filled marzipan rolls) and ‘buñuelos’ (a sort of fried doughnut).
As said before, many countries in South America celebrate El Día de Todos los Santos in a subtle different way, and perhaps the most different and famous one is El Día de Muertos in Mexico. It is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November (the 1st is dedicated to the soul of deceased children and the 2nd to the soul of adults) and is a rather joyful celebration. People usually clean and decorate the tombs, mausoleums or altars, organize parades, eat, drink and dance to honour their dead. Flowers, decorated skulls and candles are some of the most famous symbols of this day.
In the case of Catalonia, on the night of the 31st of October, they celebrate La Castanyada, a family festivity in which they usually eat sweet potatoes, roasted chesnuts and ‘panellets’ (small marzipan cakes usually covered in pine nuts), while children enjoy the traditional stories of La Castanyera.
Atipika Barcelona whishes you a Happy Halloween, a buen Día de Todos los Santos, a feliz Día de Muertos and a bona Castanyada.