Celebration of All The Saints (Todos Los Santos), or Spanish Halloween, is here again! At Onspain, our Spanish school in Malaga, we would like to know a bit more about this traditional event in Spain.
The origin of All the Saints can be found in the catholic religion. During this festivity, all the Saints are cherished, the known as well as the unknown. Furthermore, the people remember their own dead relatives.
This tradition is celebrated all around the world at different times of the year. Here in Spain, we celebrate it on the 1st of November. Nowadays, the tradition is slowly being pushed away, and young Spanish people are ”americanized” and celebrate it almost equally as North Americans (the famous ”trick or treat” and wearing all kinds of masks), but we would like to keep our ancient traditions that have started in medieval times.
In general, during the day of All the Saints people gather together and go on cemeteries to give flowers to their deceased relatives. During the night families and friends get together, sit around the fire and grandmothers tell horror stories to the children and youngsters in the family. While telling the stories, the rest is eating roasted chestnuts and porridge (it is a really thick purée made of flour and sugar).
Afterwards, people lit small candles (called: mariposas = butterflies) which stay lit all night long for the souls to find their way with the help of the light.
If you already know some Spanish and want to know a bit more about the Spanish culture, there are two authors whose books are related very much to the night of All the Saints: the one is Jose Zorilla, the author of Don Juan Tenorio (plot is set on the day of All The Saints) and the other is Gustavo Adolfo Bequer who wrote a selection of the horror stories in Spain during the 19th century.
(Also read our post about the most famous Spanish writers!)
And finally, we provide you a small list of vocabulary related to this important event:
– Sepultura: donde yace el difunto. (grave: place where the deceased are buried)
– Mausoleo: lugar de enterramiento de una familia. (mausoleum: place where all the family is buried)
– Honra: honor.
– Alma: espíritu. (soul: the spirit)
– Fallecido: difunto/muerto. (deceased: dead relative)
– Castaña: es un fruto seco. (chestnut: a dry fruit)
– Asar: hacer una comida a fuego lento. (to roast: make a meal on a small fire)
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