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Chestnut harvest celebrations

The Chestnut. © Michelle Chaplow
The Chestnut © Michelle Chaplow

Chestnut harvest celebrations - Tostón

As you can imagine, after the harvest there’s a celebration. The villages of Igualeja and Cartajima celebrate their Tostón on 1st November with roasted chestnuts and anis. However, the place to celebrate the chestnut in style is Pujerra.

Pujerra holds its festival from 1st to the 3rd of November dedicated to the Virgin Fatima, the village’s saint. There are roast chestnuts, accompanied by anis or agua ardiente, and various chestnut-based gastronomic delights, with music and dancing until the small hours. They even have a folk dance, known as Los Fandangos de Pujerra, which is unique to the village, and found nowhere else. Andalucia certainly is a land of tradition, and this off-the-beaten-track village with a population of around 300 people is well worth visiting, especially in the chestnut season.

In Alpujarra de la Sierra, a village in Granada province, the Chestnut Festival is a harvest tradition that was almost lost until villagers decided to get back on track in 1986. Since then they’ve been roasting chestnuts, dancing and singing faithfully every year. You’re welcome to join them!

In Alcaucin, La Axarquia east of Malaga celebrating, and living thanks for, the chestnut harvest. According to local legend, the oldest trees (castaños) are in the Mecina Bomaron, and date from Moorish times. Throughout the festival day, hundreds of kilos of chestnuts and sweet potatoes prepared and given out along with anise (aguardiente as it is known in Malaga) and typical handmade shortbreads will be for sale.

In Ojen near Marbella the ‘Tostón Popular’ takes place on the first Sunday after All Saints' Day (1st November), a well-established tradition. The Tostón Popular here is consuming roasted chestnuts, accompanied by good Ojeneto brandy, bacon and sultanas. The festival is organised by the San Dionisio Cultural Association and includes popular games.

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