Halloween is one of the oldest and the most popular celebrations observed by people all over the world. However, the customs and traditions of celebrating the festivals differ from place to place. Every country has its own unique pattern of observing the festival.
Halloween is a three day celebration in Spain. It is known as the “Day of the Dead”, or “El Dia de los Muertos”. It starts on the 31st of October and ends on 2nd of November. Family members commemorate their loved ones whom have passed. People believe that the dead relatives return home to be with their families. Families sometimes make an alter at home as a way to reminisce. But Halloween is not only about honoring the dead, but also a celebration of the continuity of life.
On the night of 31st of October the celebration starts with “Noite de Calacus”, night of the pumpkins. If you’re looking for some Halloween fun, don’t forget your pumpkin. The supermarkets have them, but the biggest and best ones are from the local fruit and vegetable sellers. Children will do trick and treats from door to door, dressed up as witches, ghosts or vampires.
During the night, there are a lot of activities and parties in the City with costume themes. This will be at most Barcelona clubs like Opium Mar, Shoko, Apolo, Monasterio and some hotels also have Halloween events including Hotel Casa Fuster.
A recent Mexican tradition during Halloween in Barcelona started a few years back and is the “Ruta de Altares”, the Alter Route. There are around 30 alters that are dedicated to the memory of the departed and “El Dia de Muertos”. They all have different themes and dedication and are in 30 bars, shops, galleries and associations in Barcelona.
The 1st of November is “All Saints day”, a public holiday. The 2nd of November is “All souls day”. These are days of remembrance for loved ones that have passed away. As tradition, people attend church services in honor of Catholic saints and martyrs. People turn to their villages to visit and decorate the graves of loved ones with flowers and gather with friends and family.
Cemeteries are full of people, streets are congested with traffic and florists are churning out more sales than other days of the year.
There will be classical music concerts at Poblenou and Les Corts cemeteries; some cemeteries will have special memorial masses. There are also traditional Halloween festivities for children.
On the 1st of November you can enjoy the Catalan tradition called “La Castanyada”. This is a tradition of eating “castanyes” (roaste chestnuts), “moniatos” (sweet potatoes), “panellets” (cakes) and drinking “muscatel’ sweet wine.
Halloween in Spain is a real recommender!