Halloween or Castanyada?

In recent years, the celebration of Halloween has become very popular in Spain. It is very common to see children and adults dressed as witches, zombies or vampires in the street, but the tradition in Catalonia is that between October 31 and November 1, is to celebrate the Castanyada (chestnut festival).

History tells us that at the end of the seventeenth century, families gathered to commemorate their deceased and in these meetings they used to pray in front of the fire while the chestnuts were roasted in it.
More typical delicacies of this festival are roasted sweet potatoes (moniatos) and panellets (small marzipan sweets).

The streets are filled with stalls of roasted chestnuts and suddenly everything smells like autumn!

A very popular figure in this festival is the Castanyera, anelderly woman dressed in poor clothes who roasts chestnuts in the street.
Children adore her, even in schools they learn the song of “La Castanyera” during these dates.

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