Halloween in Spain is celebrated over 3 days.
It starts off with October 31st with Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches), continues with Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) on November 1st, and culminates with Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd.
The Spanish Halloween is all about honoring the dead and celebrating the continuity of life.
Accordingly, specific customs and rituals can be observed throughout the country, for instance, during the Dia de Todos los Santos, which is a public holiday, many families tend to gather at the grave of their deceased relatives with holy water, flowers, food, and drink in order to rejoice and socialize.
While Halloween in Spain is mainly observed as children’s holiday or a spiritual festival intended to commemorate the dead, throughout the country’s big cities and vibrant university towns you’ll always find clubs, hotels, and restaurants organizing glamorous events and colourful costume parties.
Some slightly spooky customs observed by the children is to spend the night in a cemetery; they spend the night trying to frighten each other, which they often do.
Many towns throughout Spain have fancy dress festivals when everyone dresses up as witches and zombies…There used to be a big Zombie parade through the city of Málaga, but that is no longer done.
One reason that Halloween partying has become more popular is that the following day, All Saints’ Day (November 1), is a public holiday.
The night before most public holidays in Spain (“vísperas de festivo“) is treated like a Saturday night, with people taking advantage of not having to go to work or school the next day by partying all night long.
So although Halloween has long been associated more with America many countries like Spain have adopted some of the traditions as their own.
In certain parts of Spain October 31st is referred to as Noite los Calacus (Night of the Pumpkins). Similar to in the UK, pumpkins are carved and decorated to mark and celebrate Halloween.
Overall Halloween is another date in the Spanish calendar that gives everyone an excuse to have a party and enjoy themselves.