“La castanyada”, the chestnut tradition

What are you associate with a word “autumn”? For many people autumn is a synonym of leaves on the floor and for others is a time to…  Eat chestnuts!

Do you know about the chestnut celebration in Spain? The “Magosto” or “Castañada” is a tradition that celebrates in the north of Spain, along the coast of Galicia, Cantabria, then in Cataluña, Aragón, Asturias and Castilla y León; in some places of Portugal, too. In both countries, this tradition takes place from 1st to 11th of November.

The beginnings of this tradition comes drom All Saints Day, exactly on the 1st of November night. In the past, people had a family get together in an intimate night dedicated to the dead members of the family or friends. The ritual said that each chestnut that they’d ate at night represented one dead.

During the Castanyada (castañada in Catalan), customarily people eat chestnuts with panellets, a sweet dessert that people buy or make at home during this celebration. In addition to this, it is common to eat boniatos (sweet potatos), some fruit and moscatel wine too. Moreover, if you walk around the city, you will see people selling roasted chestnuts. It is so delicious!

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Nowadays, the Castanyada is very influenced by the Halloween. A lot of people mix both traditions: they have dinner with their family or friends, and then go to celebrate Halloween night. It is a great plan!