November 1st in Spain is a special day known as Todos los Santos. It’s an important part of the Spanish culture and tradition, and has been celebrated by Christian and Catholic communities for many years.
Let’s talk more about what it means in Spain and what people do on this special day?
It’s a day of the year when people take time to pay respects to their deceased loved ones. Traditionally, people from all over the country will travel back to their hometowns to spend time with their families and to visit the cemetery with their loved ones. All Saints Day commemorates those who are already in heaven and also the connection they have to those still living. People leave flowers and often The Mass (Eucharist) will be performed in the cemetery too.
The name Todos los Santos refers to the fact that people honor the saints on this day as well as their ancestors. This public holiday shows just how important the role of religion and family plays in the Spanish culture.
On All Saints Day it is typical to eat a few sweet treats! Huesos de santo, which literally means saint’s bones, are a favorite! They are actually very tasty and made of marzipan and sweet egg yolk. Another traditional delicacy are buñuelos de viento or wind fritters – according to legend, when you eat one, a soul will be set free from purgatory. In some parts of Spain they also eat almond cakes called pannellets, along with roasted chestnuts too.
It is believed that the sweet traditional treats that play a part in All Saints Day have passed on to the infamous Halloween candy we see today!
Check out more on Valencia, its public holidays, its traditions and local events in our ICV Blog.