November 1, 2011

November 1st Holiday in Spain: El día de todos los santos

Since it's technically an off-day for my blog, and since there are a bunch of other great posts on yesterday and today's holidays, here I'm just going to do a quick blogroll on good past and present entries out there on importing America's Halloween (Oct. 31) and recognizing Spain's Día de todos los santos (Nov. 1)...

Sangría, Sol y Siesta: "Don Juan Tenorio, Performed in All Saints' Day"
Nieves reminds her readers of this often overlooked tradition on November 1st: to see a staged production of the play Don Juan Tenorio.

Christine in Spain: "Halloween in Spain"
Christine gives a nice overview of All Saints' Days as seen from the point of view of an expat, observing the contrast between the U.S.'s party holiday and Spain's more solemn day of remembrance.

La Vida Alcalaína: "Fiesta de Tosantos"
La Vida Alcalaína also gives a nice in-depth description of All Saints' Day in Spain, comparing it to celebrations in other countries. They also point readers to the opening scene of Almodóvar's film, Volver (2006), which features a scene with Penelope Cruz's character and others visiting the cemetery and decorating the graves of their ancestor.

Travelocafe: "Wandering Through Valencia's General Cemetery on All Saints' Day"
I'm adding this entry to the list of nice blogs on this holiday. Travelocafe, though not exclusively a blog on Spain, posts some lovely photo entries on Spanish places and customs. And this entry on Valencia's cemetery is beautiful and very apropos for the day.

Some traditional Día de Todos los Santos treats, including (on the right)
"los huesos de santo"

There were also some great posts on bringing the Anglosaxon Halloween spirit to Spain...

Chic Soufflé: "Trick or Treat?: Halloween Candy"
Chic Soufflé explains to Spaniards American's rich Halloween candy culture, and the actual meaning of "trick or treat" which is not exactly the same as "truco o trato." She's been posting other related seasonal entries recently, too, such as "Calabazas hasta en la sopa".

Gee, Cassandra: "Halloween, a mixed bag"
Cassandra wrote a nice entry on (the challenge of) creating Halloween activities in Spanish schools. My mother-in-law is an elementary school teacher, so I know that this is the most common way that Halloween culture has entered Spain.

Con Tomates: "Halloween 2011 at el Instituto José Luis Sampedro"
It's funny how one great photo can say more than a thousand words about a festive day like Halloween. Con Tomates has posted a great photo of the English teaching assistants and their costume concept for this year... Can you get more integrated?

American in Spain  "Halloween 2011 – Pumpkin Carving with Carmen" and La Tortuga Viajera with "I Miss Pumpkin Patches"
These two bloggers share their pumpkin carving fun. Erik teaches his neighbor's kid the technique and fun of carving pumpkins. And Erin hosts a pumpkin carving party in Madrid with American friends. Pumpkin carving really is, in my opinion, easily the coolest Halloween tradition to import here to Spaniards.

Guiri Guide to Madrid: A variety of posts on Halloween in Madrid
This blog has several posts on how to get Halloween-ready and find costumes, classic candy treats, and related parties in Madrid.

Expat Mama: "Halloween etc."
And many expat families are making sure to dress their kids up for the day, as more and more Spanish schools are partaking in the Anglosaxon costume tradition as part of their cultural awareness activities.

Memoirs of a Young Adventuress: "Fall Nostalgia"
This blogger correctly places Halloween in its larger expat context, the changing of the season. You are not alone in your nostalgia. All of us who have lived in the northeast are missing the fall colors. They make for the perfect backdrop to Halloween.

My Kitchen in Spain, with "Pumpkin Season, Big Time" and Spanish Sabores's "When Life Gives You Pumpkins, Make Pumpkin Bisque"
These expat culinary blogs have been providing great recipes for pumpkin dishes. There is nothing like pumpkin to make me get nostalgic for the States in the fall season. But these recipes will also be useful to all you prepping your Thanksgiving meals here soon!

Next year maybe I'll resurrect these posts and write my own take on Halloween in Spain.

Finally, it's not Halloween or All Saint's Day, but this post "Trashumancia" by Cheap in Madrid describes a hilarious tradition in Madrid on October 30th, thousands of sheep cross through the capital's streets!

To all you expats out there in Spain, have a lovely break today! I know many of you are taking advantage of the long weekend to see those yet-to-visit places nearby. I look forward to reading about it in your future posts!

Some of the ghoulish food my Spanish friends made for me yesterday
to celebrate Halloween. Thank you!

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