Party-lovers who want to see how traditional Catalans celebrate Halloween should book cheap flights to Barcelona at the end of October, when the La Castanyada festival takes place.
Like Halloween, La Castanyada takes place the day before the Christian holy day of All Saints on November 1. Called ‘Tots Sants’ in the Catalan tongue, All Saints Day was called All Hallows in English, with Halloween deriving from ‘All Hallows Eve’. All Souls Day, which celebrates the passing of the dead, comes straight after. However, the entire occasion has its roots in the pre-Christian festival of Samhain, which marked the end of summer and was traditionally the night when good and evil spirits roamed among the living. People disguised themselves as witches, goblins and hideous beasts to avoid being possessed - a tradition that filtered through into Christianity as time went on.
Enjoyable Family Events
Catalonia has embraced many of our Halloween customs without diluting its own unique festival, so families booking cheap flights to Barcelona will still be able to get zombie costumes and pumpkin lanterns. They will also be able to buy delicious sweet potatoes, almond sweetmeats, little bone-shaped biscuits and sweet roast chestnuts (La Castanyada translates as Day of the Chestnut), washed down with glasses of sweet muscatel wine. Tots Sants, also known as the Day of the Dead, was traditionally when people visited the cemetery to honour their dead relatives. Both they and the bell ringers needed the sugar for energy during the vigil.
This year, why not escape the Halloween trick-or-treaters by booking cheap flights to Barcelona with us at Jet2.com?