All Saints Day in Spain

All Saints Day in Spain

All Saints Day in Spain

All Saints Day in Spain - Día de todos los Santos - is celebrated on November 1st honoring the dead (sometimes called Day of the Dead). This is a national holiday and thus many businesses and schools will be closed on this day.

Traditions on this holiday vary throughout the world, however in Spain families typically gather at local cemeteries to pay their respects to the departed. They decorate family tombstones with plenty of flowers. Mass is even performed in the cemetery several times throughout the day. They may also organize parades and fireworks, and what many people do, particularly on the Costa del Sol, is get together to roast and eat chestnuts (castañas) in the forest and drink raisin brandy. The atmosphere is very much like camping with lots of families hanging around having a good time.

Some people even head out the night before to start the celebrations. If you do this, don´t think of coming in your Halloween costume. This holiday should not be confused with the American one even though there are instances of spirits, family gatherings and cemeteries.

You may also get an opportunity to try Huesos de Santo (Saint´s Bones), which is a traditional sweet eaten during this holiday that is made out of marzipan and "dulce de yema" (sweet egg yolks). Or you may find buñuelos de viento (literally, puffs of wind), which are like little doughnuts sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

If you will be traveling to Marbella by car during this time, avoid driving on October 31st if it falls on a weekday, because the roads will be packed as people take off of work early and leave the big cities to head to their birthplaces.

If you live in Spain or have a few extra days, you may want to head out to Cádiz (about 2.5 hour drive from Marbella) for the Fiesta de Todos los Santos. Evidently, the locals really "paint the town red" and go all out with parades, fireworks, markets selling all types of local products, children´s activities and magic shows. The city celebrates this holiday for a whole week (starting even before November 1st!), so festivities will be abundant.

If you would like to know what events will be taking place for Halloween in Marbella, take a look at our Marbella Halloween events page.

Learn more about other holidays in Spain to better organize your trip.

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