All Saints’ Day in Granada

Sergio Pajares Granada, Spain


October 28, 2019

Halloween is just around the corner… But, do we celebrate it in Granada? The answer may not be the same depending on who you ask to.

Nowadays, costumes, sweets, pumpkins, and witches are very popular in Spain too. Children do love this festivity since (1) they have no class for one day, (2) they can go to bed late, and (3) they eat as much sweets as they can. However, adults see Halloween as a scary day since (1) they know their children will not sleep at all, (2) sweets will mysteriously disappear, and (3) if they fall sleep, someone will egg their homes…

We will show you six traditions we still celebrate in Granada for this day:

  1. All Saints’ Day. Although the original Celtic tradition was based on the Samhain festival, Christianism influenced the way people used to celebrate this festivity. In Spain, Catholic people normally has two ‘important days’: your birthday and your saint’s day. Those whose given name is not Catholic or is not included in the official sanctorale celebrate this day.
  2. Cemeteries. Although tombstone tourism is becoming very popular now, cemeteries were only visited in this day. According to our tradition, families lay flowers on the graves of their deceased relatives as a way of remembering them. In Granada, the Saint Joseph Cemetery is visited by many people and orchestras are invited to play classical songs in this day.
  3. Chestnuts and sweets. In Andalusia, food is a must. We meet our friends or relatives and share roasted chestnuts or traditional sweets such as nun’s puffs, wine doughnuts, saint’s bones, etc.
  4. Carving melons. Here, pumpkins are more associated with Cinderella. Spanish pumpkins are quite different in shape and color from the ones in the US. Our jack-o’-lanterns are made from melons or watermelons and, believe us, they can be as scary as pumpkins.
  5. Movies. I put a spell on you and now you’re mine… This spell is now part of the Spanish culture since Hocus Pocus (or El retorno de las brujas in Spanish) is a cult classic, especially among children and teenagers. Beetlejuice (or Bitelchus in Spain) movies and series are also very popular in Halloween.
  6. Literature. The Legends by the Spanish Romanticist writer Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer are considered a masterpiece of horror stories in Spanish Literature. If you want to read his legends, click here.

 Happy Saints’ Day!