Halloween and All Saints' Day

All Saints' Day follows Halloween -  Casares © Brian Gutcher
All Saints' Day follows Halloween - Casares © Brian Gutcher



Halloween is widely celebrated in Spain today, with pumpkin carving, children dressing up in ghoulish costumes, going trick-or-treating, and attending parties with themed food. Many bars and nightclubs organize Halloween parties, staff will dress up, this is now a mainstream event the social calendar expect fancy dress, spooky drinks, best costumes, and the music plays out until the early hours on what is the "spookiest night of the year". In some towns and cities you can go on a ghost walk (Noche en Negro in Almeria city) or hear scary stories.

The photograph of the Halloween bucket in the graveyard illustrates how, in modern-day Spain, the two festivals co-exist in a weird and wonderful way.




On 1 November, Tosantos (a contraction of todos los santos, or "all the saints") is celebrated throughout Andalucia, particularly in the villages of Cadiz and Malaga. It is traditional to visit the cemetery and place flowers or light candles on the graves of departed loved ones. 

All Saints' Day (also known in English as All Hallows, Day of All the Saints, Solemnity of All Saints, or Feast of All Saints) is celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. In Catholic theology, this day is to offer prayers for those in purgatory (who haven't been allowed into heaven yet), and to remember to live like saints.

Todos Los Santos is a public holiday in Spain, and if 1 November falls on a Sunday (as in 2015), the public holiday is carried over to the following Monday.

All Saint's Day is part of the three-day Allhallowtide, honouring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who haven't yet reached heaven - Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Eve) on 31 October, All Saints' Day on 1 November, and All Souls' Day on 2 November, which commemorates the faithful departed - the souls of all good who have passed.