Enjoy autumn and the tradition of La Castanyada in Barcelona

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Enjoy autumn and the tradition of La Castanyada in Barcelona

Are you wondering where to do an original autumn getaway? Although most visited during the summer season, Barcelona is the perfect destination for you and your famiily to spend a few days during this fall. Discover the Catalan capital when it becomes coloured in reds, yellows and oranges and enjoy a more quite Barcelona holidays mixing with the locals and discovering it best autumn tradition: La Castanyada. Learn all you need to know to enjoy this traditional autumn festival in Barcelona.

If you are visiting the city this fall, don’t hesitate to have a look at our modern Apartments in the center of Barcelona, to make the most of your visit.

 

History

Chestnuts’ stand in Barcelona street

Chestnuts’ stand in Barcelona street

La Castanyada is an autumn festival festivity which is celebrated on the “Día de Todos los Santos” (All Saints’ Day or Day of the Dead) and that has its roots in a traditional funeral ritual from the 18th century. This folkloric festivity was born to honour and remember our beloved ones who are no longer with us, but also as a celebration of the autumn season.

It was traditional for the families to gathered around the table and eat the typical autumn vegetables, nuts and small bread rolls known as panellets. This meal was a symbolic communion with the souls of their relatives who had passed away and while the nuts were being roasted, the Rosary prayer was intoned in memory of this family members.

The tradition also says that this highly energetic food also allowed the “Campaners” (bell ringers from the churches) to stay up and ring the bells all night to honour the deceased.

 

1st of November

Autumn Barcelona view

Autumn Barcelona view

Nowadays this festive tradition continues to be celebrated, but due to the influence of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Halloween, currently many people choose have the best of both worlds, for example having a family dinner at home with the most traditional of the chestnut festival and then dressing up and going to a Halloween party.

These days you can celebrate Halloween almost anywhere in the world, but we suggest you to not miss the Castanyada traditions if you want to be more than a tourist in Barcelona.

La Castanyada public holiday is celebrated with family, friends and even in schools. Around the time of the year when this celebration takes place, also vendors known as castanyera or castanyer  take to the streets to sell their hot freshly-roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes, which generally come wrapped in newspaper. This definetely indicates that summer is over and that colder weather is on the way.

The 1st of November still retains the gastronomic traditions mentioned before and is also traditional to meet with the family and leave flowers on the graves of your beloved ones and clean them up on this special date.

 

A gastronomic tradition

Panellets for la Castanyada. Photo credit @pa_amb_vi_i_sucre on Instagram

Panellets for la Castanyada. Photo credit @pa_amb_vi_i_sucre on Instagram

 

We couldn’t explain this festival without talking about its gastronomy. The main event on the 1st of November is a big family reunion including a typical meal. That night a fire is prepared for roasting chestnuts and sweet potatoes. Along with these, families eat a typical marzipan cakes covered in pine nuts known in Catalan as panallets and candied fruit, all accompanied with the traditional drink of moscatell sweet wine.

Sara Barrio

Sara Barrio

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