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Did you know that Halloween & La Castanyada are the same?

If there is anything we love from our community is the fusion of cultures. As we have children all over the world, we love to share this mixture of traditions with them every time we have an opportunity. 31st October is one of the best moments.
On this day we celebrate autumn is here, the harvest season ends and soon (we hope), winter we’ll bring us some cold. Nowadays it looks like Hallowe’en is being the real protagonist of this day, it has spread around the world and it is currently celebrated in over five continents.
But what about the origins of Hallowe’en? Do you know what they are? The roots come from world wide ancient celebrations relating to remembering the dead. Such festivals are held in many cultures throughout the world and honour and commemorate deceased family or members of the community.
You can find some other origins in a few traditional pagan celebrations of harvest, in the Gaelic festival of “Samhain” (a celebration of the dead returning to the world) or in the ancient Roman fiestas of “Pomona” and “Parentalia”:
  • Samhain seems to have given us the tradition of bonfires
  • Pomona gave rise to the popular game of “Apple bobbing” (taking apples from a tub of water using only your mouth)
  • the practice of “Trick or treating” comes from the tradition of “Souling” where special cakes were baked to be given to the poor, as a kind of prayer to save the souls held in purgatory.
  • Dressing up is said to have come from the belief that during this time the souls of the dead patrol the earth and have one last chance to return and seek vengeance for wrong doing so living don masks and robes to stop evil souls finding them at this time.

Our Halloween


LA CASTANYADA: catalan style

La Castanyada falls on 31st October like Hallowe’en and shares the same Celtic origins and ushers in the autumn harvest season. Traditionally, Catalan families gathered to eat panellets (traditional pastries made of pine nuts), roast chestnuts and boniato (white sweet potato). The symbol of La Castanyada is an old lady dressed in peasant clothes, wearing a headscarf, sitting behind a table roasting chestnuts fro street souls.
At St. Peter’s we love to gather all these traditions and celebrate 31st October in different ways. It is special day for everyone, full of costumes, souls, pumpkins, chestnuts and ghoulish decorations. But most importantly, it’s a day to open our minds to different cultures and traditions and to understand how, deep down, all of us celebrate similar things.Primary Celebration

Secundary Celebration

Happy Halloween and Feliç Castanyada!!!!!

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