Halloween In Spain

Published on 10/20/2008 in Spanish Culture

Halloween in SpainIf you are dreading the night, endless swarms of kids ringing the doorbell, egging your car and just being a general nuisance in the name of Halloween, then escape to Spain. Halloween in Spain, well there is no Halloween in Spain, sorry there is less Halloween, and trick or treating doesn’t exist in the Spanish vocabulary, as far as I am aware. But your trick or treat free days are numbered because judging from the shelves in Carrefour and Toys R Us, Halloween is creeping into Spanish culture. Or rather, with the influx of expats retailers have spotted an opportunity.

When we first moved to Spain, five Halloweens ago, there wasn’t a hint of fangs and strap on crooked noses. We just made the house feel a bit spooky by not sweeping for a few days and drawing the curtains but over the past couple of years the shops have brought in cobwebs, rubber rats and the latest in witch fashion. It seems that Halloween is becoming increasingly considered harmless fun rather than a satanic festival.

In fact, for the first time, I have seen fliers and posters aimed at the Spanish rather than the expat community, promoting Halloween events. Like Carrefour, they have jumped on the Halloween bandwagon and are using it as an excuse to get the crowds in for a night.

If you are looking for some Halloween fun, don’t forget your pumpkin. All the supermarkets have them but the biggest and best ones are from the local fruit and veg sellers. By the way, they are another group who has cottoned on to the Halloween marketing stunt, as I have seen a couple of Halloween posters up in their shops too.

On the other hand, if you prefer to do the catholic thing, you could boycott dressing up as evil characters on Halloween and go to the cemetery instead on the 1st November. This is All Saint’s Day, a day of remembrance for loved ones that have passed away.

Huesos de santoFor me Halloween, like Bonfire night is another countdown marker to Christmas. Bonfire Night isn’t celebrated here, of course, since it means nothing in Spanish culture. However, I daresay it is just a question of time as the Spanish love an excuse to get fireworks out. I am just wondering how long it will be before we find Spanish trick or treaters at the door! And if they do, make sure you have plenty of ‘huesos de santo’ or ‘bunuelos de viento’ that are typically eaten at this time of year.

Written by: Susan Pedalino

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Women In Spain

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cheesecake said:
Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 2:18 PM


cheesecake said:
Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 2:12 PM


cheescake said:
Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 2:11 PM


Tony D said:
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

will i like to say helloween is a very awesome event

Suzi said:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 2:27 PM

"It seems that Halloween is becoming increasingly considered harmless fun rather than a satanic festival."
This is not, in fact, true! Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
In many parts of Britain and Ireland this night also used to be known as 'Mischief Night', which meant that people were free to go around the village playing pranks and getting up to any kind of mischief without fear of being punished. Many of the different customs were taken to the United States by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the nineteenth century, and they developed into 'trick or treat'.

When the Irish emigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carve into Jack O'Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations ever since.

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