Spain Savvy Culture Corner:
Halloween in Spain
As today is a National Holiday in Spain, All Saints’ Day or Día de Todos los Santos, we thought it’s a perfect time to explain what you can expect if you travel here around Halloween. Every year the celebration of Halloween, from the Anglo-Saxon perspective, is becoming more and more popular. It’s a special night for both children and adults with spooky parties and events planned in cities and villages. It’s much less of a commercial holiday and more of a celebration of our dead and the continuity of life.
You may even witness some trick-or-treating although that concept seems to be a bit slower in taking hold. I credit this to two facts (and these are of course generalizations with their natural exceptions):
1) Most people in cities live in apartment buildings that aren’t conducive for door-to-door soliciting
2) Spaniards are private about their homes and it’s just not in their nature to open up their front doors to strangers – they so most of their entertaining en la calle as opposed to in their homes.
Since November 1 is a holiday, October 31 is a festive night anywhere in Spain. You’ll see mostly scary costumed folks out and about. The funny and satirical costumes we’re used to at this time of year are usually reserved for Carnaval in early Spring.
Traditionally, this is a time of year when the Spanish people will visit their deceased loved ones at the cemetery, trussing up their grave sites and decorating them with flowers. Families will gather for a large meal and in some areas, special sweets are a part of the celebration – like huesos de Santo (holy bones).
Late October is usually a lovely time to visit Spain and to be able to celebrate Halloween as well is just an added bonus!