How do the Spanish celebrate All Saints?
iNMSOL tells you about our All Saints’ Day traditions in Granada and Spain. Every year on November 1, Catholic countries celebrate All Saints’ Day. This day, according to the Christian religion, is the day the deceased achieve eternal life after having overcome purgatory. November 1, is a day when we honor and remember the deceased people.
November 1 is a public holiday throughout Spain, and we generally spend this day in family. Traditionally, the Spanish visit cemeteries on this day or in the days before:
- We clean up tombs and niches of our relatives (that sounds creepy!)
- We buy flowers to our deceased relatives to remember them.
It is a day of family reunion in which they prepare some very delicious typical dishes.
Culinary tradition of All Saints
There is no Spanish holiday that does not have a typical dish associated with it. Here are some of the traditional dishes that we taste during these days:
- Gachas: Do you want to know the recipe? Click here.
- Huesos de Santo: Do you want to know the recipe? Click here.
- Roasted chestnuts: “¡Las calentitas!“
- Buñuelos de Viento: Do you want to know the recipe? Click here.
Celebration of All Saints’ Day in other Spanish regions
Although we have told you the general custom, there are some Spanish regions with different customs. In this article of funeuskadi they describe it very well! We highlight some of the most curious.
The “Tosantos” in Cádiz:
This tradition comes from the more frenetic activity than usual that the Cadiz market experienced on the eve of this holiday. The fact that the market closed its doors the next day caused that many people from Cádiz came that day to obtain the necessary food for that day and the following day.
Thus, in 1876 the municipal commission of the Public Market decorated the stalls and their surroundings. He also led an orchestra to hold a dance in the square. The initiative was very successful and many people from Cadiz and visitors went to the market that day:
Soria and his memory of Bécquer:
On the night of the dead, the Sorianos pay homage to Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and one of his well-known legends of terror, Monte de las Ánimas, whose setting is a mountain that exists in Soria. Every night on October 31, giant puppets, skeletons, medieval enntandartes, Templar monks and other ghosts gather in the streets of the city with the only light of torches and lamps. The stone bridge is their destination, where the Monte de las Ánimas is born and where the reading of this terrifying legend is carried out under the heat of a bonfire. Later, with the embers of the bonfire, a blanket of embers is created through which the bravest will pass barefoot.
As a final touch, a performance of paper lamps with words from the legend are thrown into the sky (Source “Traveler.es”):
Do we celebrate Halloween in Spain?
Although it may not seem like it, the celebration of Halloween has its origin in Ireland. It was Irish immigrants to the United States who exported this celebration. In its origin it was a pagan festival linked to the cycles of crops and seasons. But it is thanks to the fervor of the Americans that it has become popular around the world in a more commercial way.
In Spain it begins to celebrate massively. It is a very attractive celebration for children – and not so children! And you know, Spaniards rarely reject a party. Anyway, Halloween does not replace our Carnival (that we celebrate in February), a holiday that is not as popular in the US as it is here.
We hope that this information helps you to learn a little more about Spanish traditions.