by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
Halloween is a new tradition in Alicante, Spain, but Todos Los Santos, on the 1st of November, has been around for ages. Let’s go to see the differences and how Alicantinians are embracing Hallowing.
Halloween is a big festivity in most English-speaking countries. The influence of that cultural party has been exported to Spain through films, costume parties, business opportunities and foreigners living in the country. But this is not how Spaniards originally celebrated Halloween.
The traditional day Spaniards celebrate Halloween is the 1st of November and it is called El dia de todos
There are many traditions that some people, mostly older people, follow. One of the biggest is going to the cemetery to visit their loved ones that are not between us anymore. People would go and give them a beautiful bouquet of flowers to show their respects and remind them they will never be forgotten. They usually like spending time with the family as well. They would go to the countryside or enjoy some hot chestnuts.
There are some sweets that are important for this day like Huesos de Santo which translates to Bones of Saints. They are traditionally prepared only in this period of the year.
Other typical sweet is buñuelos con crema. They are little sweet and fried balls made of flour (mainly) and filled up with cream made of milk, eggs and corn flour.
There are a few other traditions. A good summary is on the Spanish embassy in the USA website.
All Saints’ Day is a national bank holiday day so it is even easier to celebrate Halloween night and el día de todos Los Santos.
In Spain, there are 3 types of bank holidays: national, regional and city bank holidays.
The Spanish call festivo to the bank holidays. An example of national bank holidays are Todos los Santos (Halloween) on the 1st of November, Navidades (Christmas) on the 25th of December and a few others.
Examples of regional bank holidays are Andalucia’s day on the 28th of February or Valencian Comunity day on the 9th of October, which Alicante also celebrates.
A couple of examples of the city’s bank holidays would be the 28th of April to celebrate Santa Faz in Alicante or the 19th of August as the day Malaga was incorporated into the Castillian Cron.
As a general rule, in Alicante and in Spain people loves celebrations and parties. There is a very wise meme saying that “They say Halloween is not a Spanish party, but what is more Spanish than joining all parties?”. Jokes apart, Hallowing has been growing as a party on the 31st of October at a quick pace. You can expect parties, people in customers and city-hall organised events all around the city centre. AlicanteOut.com has a few of them where you can assist. Pumpkins are not as present as they would be in other countries but they are still not impossible to find in supermarkets. So don’t be shy if you like to prepare them to put some candles on it.
Halloween in Alicante is a sort of big party, more and more year after year so you can expect it to be this year as big as it has ever been. Don’t be scared by the people you will find on the streets, organizing a party at your house or going to any other organized party. Spaniards will love it.
If you really want to be an Alicantinian expert you can drive to the nearby city of Concentaina. It is 37mi (60km) away from Alicante. They prepare a concentration called Feria de todos Los Santos or Fair of All Saints. It is the second oldest fair in Spain. You can expect agricultural expositions, food, children’s activities, traditional Arabic and Christian market and many other traditional activities and spectacles. It is a bit of a living story as it started in 1346. More info is on this Wikipedia page and on its
Yes, you guessed it, Truco o Trato translates to Trick or Treat. Everyone in Spain knows how it works thanks to the movies. The tradition of children going from house to house to ask for sweets is not as big as in the United States. Anyway, it is not weird to find some children doing it since 5 years ago or so. In my family, you can expect us to be ready if some children ring the bell to say in beautiful Spanish and costumes “Truco o
As you can see, if your country celebrates Halloween Alicante and Spain will make you feel at home. You will enjoy the advantage of the bank holidays. You will