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Halloween In Spain

Halloween In Spain
October 28
13:24 2009

Whilst many of us are preparing our costumes and parties for Halloween, the Spanish still tend to follow the traditional religious celebration remembering their dead relatives and friends. However with the integration of cultures and their love of dressing up the younger generations are celebrating Halloween more and more.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in Ireland celebrated their new year on November 1st. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. To celeberate this, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, and people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes

In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

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In Spain, Halloween is a three-day celebration, starting from 31st October every year. The first day is referred to as Halloween or Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches). This is also called Samhain or Noite dos Calacús (Night of the Pumpkins) in the north-west region of Galicia.

This is followed on November 1st by “Dia de Todos los Santos,” which has become a public holiday. Catholics attend church and people may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.

Finally, on 2nd November, “El Dia de los Muertos,” is a joyous and happy holiday, a time to remember friends and family who have died. Catholics attend  special Requiem masses, where they remember those close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and candles are lit to honour their memory.
The three day celebration is together referred to as “El Dia de los Muertos”

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