Whatever your faith is, or even if you don’t believe in any deity, if you’re staying in Barcelona and have an interest in Spain’s culture and traditions, the activities of All Saints Day (“Día de Todos los Santos”) will certainly be interesting for you to observe.
Happening every year on November 1 (the day after Halloween), this traditional catholic holiday pays tribute, just like it says on the tin, to all of the religion‘s saints – from the most famous to the most obscure.
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How is it celebrated?
All Saints Day is a solemn festival dedicated not only to the catholic saints, for also to remembering lost loved ones. For this reason, the Spanish people celebrate it by laying flowers on the graves of late family members and friends. Masses in honour of those who have passed will be performed in the Barcelona cemeteries several times during the day, in order to allow everyone the opportunity to attend. Because a large number of people participate in this rituals, if you go around the city on this day you should expect a lot of traffic, as well as flower vendors everywhere.
Another staple of All Saints Day, in Barcelona and all over the country, is the performance of the play “Don Juan Tenorio”. You should be able to attend a session in several different theatres throughout the city, as well as in the Poblenou cemetery.
Traditional holiday foods
A Spanish tradition wouldn’t really be Spanish if food wasn’t involved, would it? Your All Saints Day experience won’t be complete unless you try some “Panellets” – little pieces of cinnamon bread made with sugar, potatoes, almonds, eggs, pine nuts and cherries. How do you feel about roasted chestnuts? There’s going to be a lot of them too, and you should definitely try them if you haven’t yet. They are delicious and very popular in both Spain and Portugal around this time of the year.
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Opening hours during All Saints Day
Since All Saints Day is a national public holiday in Spain, most of the stores in Barcelona will be closed, with a few operating on a reduced schedule.
Tourist attractions will still be available to visit, but their hours might change, so you should check ahead of time. The same advice applies when it comes to restaurants and bars – only a few of them will be open, and most of those only for a portion of the day.
Are you going to be in Barcelona during All Saints Day? Don’t forget to tell us all about your experience by using the comment box below. Independently of your cultural or religious background, we hope you enjoy this Spanish tradition and it helps enrich your Barcelona experience. See you soon!
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