It is true that the celebration of All Saints has a long tradition throughout the whole of Spain, but it is also true that the American people have been able to give it a global acknowledgement with its popular Halloween.

Long before people began to decorate their houses with pumpkins and dress up in fancy dress as  Freddy Krueger and other terrifying characters, every corner of Spain already celebrated the Day of the Dead with their own traditions.

In Catalonia the festival of All Saints is taken very seriously. The bakeries begin to fill their shops with the typical sweet cakes of this celebration: the “panellets”, small spheres of marzipan wrapped in pine nuts. The smell of roasted chestnuts wafts through the streets of towns and cities and on October 31st the typical custom is to eat roasted chestnuts and drink muscatel in the “castañada”.

Long before Halloween became part of our lives, in Galicia they celebrated Samaín on the night of October 31st, an ancient Celtic tradition that symbolized the end of the harvest season. The houses are decorated with pumpkins where candles are placed inside to scare away spirits and friends and family celebrate the “magosto” party in which chestnuts are roasted and stories are told round the fire.

In the Basque Country the Gaztañerre Eguna is celebrated, a gastronomic tradition in which family and friends gather to celebrate an early dinner where snails in sauce can not be missed, motokil (a dough made with corn flour), and roasted chestnuts for dessert .

See the popular play by José Zorrilla, Don Juan Tenorio on the night of October 31st,  also a widespread tradition throughout the whole of Spain. You can see it in Seville, since the play takes place in that city, and also in Logroño, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Zaragoza …

`All Saints´ means not only tradition, spirits, souls, memories, but also chestnuts, pumpkins, saint’s bones, donuts, nuts, candied fruit, sweet wine … Devotion, gastronomy and celebration come together to remember those who are no longer with us.

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