Castanyada VS Halloween

Castanyada VS Halloween

The Castanyada (Castañada, in Spanish), is a typical festival of our Barcelona that is celebrated every year the night before All Saints’ Day (November 1), coinciding with the celebration of the increasingly widespread Halloween.

Traditionally, November 1 has been a day to visit the deceased in the cemetery. And for its part, the Castanyada is a festival that takes place as a tribute to those who are no longer with us.
The visit to the cemetery is a custom that little by little has been lost…. Perhaps it is, above all, our parents and grandparents who still keep this custom alive. However, the Castanyada over the years has been transformed, little by little and increasingly, in a cheerful and fun party.

As in any holiday, here too there are protagonists. And in this case, we can say with certainty that all the protagonism is taken by chestnuts, sweet potatoes and, especially, panellets (for those of you who are not from Barcelona, panellets are small balls whose main ingredient is almonds, but they have different flavors: chocolate, coconut, etc.). And as this is about traditions, these little delicacies are enjoyed as a dessert after the Castanyada dinner; and of course, accompanied by a rich muscatel wine, a typical wine from Catalonia and usual in this festival.

In its beginnings, the Castanyada consisted of all-night gatherings where bells were rung to commemorate the dead. The night is long and to get through it, chestnuts and sweet potatoes were a great help. But for some years now, the celebration has been influenced by the well-known Anglo-Saxon holiday, Halloween. Such is its presence, that for many the holiday to celebrate is Halloween, and many bars, restaurants and locals of all kinds join in, ignoring the local holiday.

There’s one thing we can’t deny, Halloween is more fun. Perhaps this is precisely the reason why the youngest people are the most influenced by Halloween. Perhaps driven by the increasingly frequent parties organized in nightclubs and clubs, which see in the English holiday a business opportunity.
But there are also those capable of combining tradition and influence. We even dare to say that the majority of the people from Barcelona stay with this alternative… They enjoy dinner at home with family and friends with a table dominated by chestnuts, sweet potatoes, the famous panellets and, of course, toast with muscatel. And then, they continue the celebration in the purest English style, dressed up and invaded by the spirit of Halloween.

And you, are you more traditional and celebrate the Castanyada, do you prefer Halloween or do you combine both?