If 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.
For 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.