How is Halloween celebrated in Spain?

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The origin of Halloween dates back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.

31 October to 2 November

All Hallows Eve, now known as Halloween, is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31. Its origins are linked to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a time when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to fend off ghosts. In the eighth century, November 1 was designated by Pope Gregory III as a day to honor all saints. Soon after, All Saints Day included some of the Samhain traditions.  Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities that include trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, wearing costumes and eating sweet treats.

In Spain, you will find Halloween to be more of a traditional festival closely related to the religious holiday of All Saints Day, honouring the dead and celebrating the perpetuation of life. It is a three-day celebration that starts off on October 31st with Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches), continues with Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) on November 1st, and ends with Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd. It is also a common tradition for Spaniards (and other Spanish speakers like Mexicans)  to watch the play of “Don Juan Tenorio” one week before, a play whose main topic revolves around death.

Halloween in Spain is mainly observed as a children’s holiday or a spiritual festivity intended to commemorate the dead. However,  throughout the country’s big cities you’ll always find clubs, hotels, and restaurants organizing events and colorful costume parties.

Let’s check out how some regions in Spain celebrate Halloween…

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