Halloween in Spain and in the World


Every  31st of October, a special date is celebrated. Halloween is a modern celebration of Celtic origin, which had the purpose of making a kind of end of summer party. The celebration of Halloween takes place in the United States, Canada, and some Ibero-Americans countries. Also, some have their own celebrations and follow their traditional culture.

In Europe there are many cities where young people have decided to import the way in which the United States conceives Halloween. They celebrate it with parties and costumes.

The fact that this festivity has reached our days is, to a certain extent, thanks to the enormous commercial deployment and publicity engendered in American cinema.

What does 'trick or treaty' mean?
Trick or treat is one of the activities that most characterizes this celebration. Children come out dressed as terrifying characters and visit the houses of their neighbors in search of sweets, although it has been one of the last elements that has been associated with this festivity.

Halloween in Spain

Halloween is one of the most important of the USA and Canada, but nowadays it is almost all over the world. In Spain there are typical parties for the night of October 31, for example the "Magosto", that is usually celebrated in Galicia. But is celebrated in Salamanca, Cáceres, Zamora and in Portugal too, where is it called "Magusto". In Catalonia this party is Castanyada, in the Basque Country this name is Gaztainere, in Cantabria this party is Magosta, and in Asturias is Amagüestu.

 Actually each town names this party according to its roots and tradition, although all focus on welcoming the month of November and have as main protagonist the roasted chestnuts.

This difference between pumpkins and chestnuts is almost obvious if we think about the origin of both. Spain has a large presence of chestnuts since the Roman Empire encouraged its cultivation and, as we have said, its fruit was the staple food of the majority of the population for centuries.

 On the other hand, the use of pumpkins on Halloween comes from the United States and a surplus of this vegetable at the end of the 19th century. Each country has its own food to which it gives a special meaning and which gives it a place of honor in its festivals.

Roman Tradition

When the Roman occupation of the Celtic domains took place, the holiday was assimilated by them. Although already celebrated in the last days of October and the first of November a festival known as the "harvest festival", in honor of Pomona (goddess of fruit trees), both traditions were mixed. Their roots are linked with the commemoration Celtic Samhain and the Christian Day of All Saints, celebrated by Catholics on November 1. It is a secular celebration, although some consider that it has a religious background. Irish immigrants transmitted versions of the tradition to North America during the Great Irish Famine.

The day is often associated with the colors orange, black and purple and is strongly linked to symbols such as the jack o'lantern. The typical Halloween activities are the famous Dulce or trick and the costume parties, in addition to the bonfires, the visit of haunted houses, the jokes, the reading of scary stories and the viewing of horror movies.

Halloween, in Spanish All Hallow's Eve also known like Night of Witches or Night of Eve of Deceased, is a modern celebration result of the syncretism originated by the Christianization of the celebration of the end of summer of Celtic origin called Samhain.