The month of October is nearing its end and then there are some special days coming up.
We begin with Oct. 31, the day of Halloween.
Both the children and many adults look forward to this and are already busy with
preparations. The house is decorated, costumes are picked out.
Halloween is an Anglo-Saxon tradition, originated by the Irish who brought it into America.
The Irish believed that on that last night of the year (for them, Nov. 1 was New Years Eve),
the spirits of people who had died that year would return to try to take possession of a living
People would lay down food at the front door to attract the good spirits and they would wear
masks to ward off the evil spirits.
With the passage of time, the event lost its spiritual origins partly due to the spread of
Christianity in Europe which gave November 1 a more religious meaning.
Thus, the night of Halloween, the traditional eve of All Saints Day, has gradually become an
informal celebration even among Spaniards.
However, Spain is not yet the biggest in terms of Halloween parties, as the current tradition
started here only 5 to 10 years ago.
But the big shopping centers and even television now pay a lot of attention to this day when
they try to lure customers with all kinds of costumes such as witches, zombies, ghosts,
On Halloween, children go from house to house asking for candy. The trick or treat or
¿Truco o trato?
The children enjoy wearing all these weird costumes and the schools, meanwhile, also
capitalize on this event, so many children then go to school dressed up.
The older students and adults, in turn, enjoy more in the evening with the Halloween parties
What Spain has been celebrating for a long time though is the day after Halloween, Nov. 1,
the day, Dia de Todos Los Santos or All Saints Day.
Usually the preparation for this day begins in advance with the sale of hundreds of flowers
and people cleaning graves for a fee, before the family comes to see the grave on November
All Saints Day is a traditional Catholic holiday for the saints and all loved ones who have
An important tradition in Spain is that many people are named after a saint.
By the way, this is something that happens in many Catholic countries.
In Spain, people are a bit like a king or queen. They actually celebrate twice ,the day of
their birth and their saints day, in honor of the Saint they were named after.
All Saints Day is a generally recognized holiday, so people don´t have to go to work and
children don´t have to go to school.
It is a day that families and friends spend together and also when they all visit the graves of
their loved ones who have died.
Therefore there is a real crowd in certain places in Spain, traffic jams of parked cars and many
people in the streets visiting cemeteries.
For flower stores it is a good thing, as they earn about 20% of their annual turnover on this
day by selling bouquets and floral arrangements.
A traditional dessert accompanies the commemoration, so bakeries are also busy with orders
for special pastries, such as the typical Huesa de Santas; (Holy Bones), a pastry made of
sugar syrup, egg and marzipan.
The day after the Día de todos los Santos, Nov. 2, that is, in Spain and the rest of the
Catholic world, All Souls Day is celebrated, known in Spanish as the Día de Muertos or
Día de Difuntos.