I have always loved Halloween. My favorite costume when I was a little girl was Cleopatra, and I still remember getting to wear the black eyeliner for the first time. I loved bobbing for apples, walking around the neighborhood with friends, and oh yeah, I guess I liked getting free candy, too.

For the Halloween puente (literal translation: bridge, but it's the name for a break from school here in Spain) I headed to another country, Portugal to be exact. More on that later. But Halloween was still going on here in Spain. 

Halloween is said to have started in Ireland. But I have always thought of it as an All-American holiday. Celebrating outside of the traditions I know made me a bit nervous.
A bakery decorated for Halloween with lots of treats.
But in recent years, the Spanish have caught on to how much fun we Americans are having around this time of year, and Halloween has hit Spain with a BOO!

Here it is a holiday for children, unless you are in a big city where there will be plenty of nightlife and costume parties at local bars. The children dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat a.k.a. Truco Trato around the small neighborhoods and apartment buildings. Teenagers (as my students informed me) throw eggs at houses that don't give them candy. ¿Que educada, verdad? 

The grand event of the weekend and the true holiday behind the puente is El Día de Todos los Santos, All Saint's Day. Families visit their deceased loved ones and place exquisite flower arrangements on their graves for this special day of rememberance. 

Forget pumpkin pie, the typical foods here during this holiday are Huesos de los Santos and Buñuelos. Deserts that you can find in any local Pastelaria. 
Huesos de los Santos, Saint's Bones. I wasn't a huge fan of the marzipan texture with chocolate coating, but they are very popular with the Spanish!
All over the world, Halloween is celebrated differently. In Portugal, there were no decorations in the streets, no special foods, and few shops that sold costumes. Maybe next year I will find out how it is celebrated in another country!

In my home in Florida on Halloween, we had a steady stream of trick-or-treaters this year. Creating a new tradition with my family from across the ocean, I Skyped live as the door bell was being rung in my house. My mom held my floating-head-of-a-computer-screen in her hands as she handed the kids their candy, and we all laughed so hard. Somehow each time it got funnier.

With the new customs I've learned about, new foods I've tasted, and new traditions I've made with family...I have to say, I still love Halloween!

k to the la
11/08/2011 4:16pm

haha Nice. I like the floating head thing. I've done that for my niece's birthday and for Thanksgiving. Definitely funnier with strangers involved!


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