Friday, 29 October 2010

La Castañada, a typical Catalan Holiday

During a stay in one of the great , you will certainly learn about the Castañada. For the past years, Halloween has invaded most big European cities, and Barcelona is not aside of this movement. However, there is also a typical Catalan holiday that takes place during the same period called La Castañada.

La Castañada is a traditional holiday from Catalonia originally celebrated on the day of All Saints but that is more and more celebrated at variable dates around October 31st. Like Halloween in Anglo-Saxon countries, this holiday finds its roots in an old funeral ritual party. During the Castañada, Catalans eat chestnuts, panellets (small round cookies made of marzipan), boniatos (orange sweet spuds) and sweet fruits.

Along with the chestnuts, panellets y boniatos, Catalans usually drink the muscatel, which is a sweet white wine. During this period, you will find many vendors of chestnuts in the streets of
Barcelona and other areas of Catalonia who usually offer stewed chestnuts generally wrapped in newsprint.

It also seems that the habit of ingesting very energetic foods during the Castañada comes from before when during All Saints Day ‘eve, friends and relatives of the death were taking care of the corpse alongside with the mortician. Thus, to avoid collapsing, they ate this type of food.

The Castañada is often represented by an old-lady selling chestnuts and dressed with poor clothes.

If you want to learn more about this Catalan tradition or others traditions, come to Barcelona and rent an apartment for this weekend or another one in November!!!

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