Oct 31, 2008

when death comes to visit

These photos were taken by me in Cementiri del Sud-Oest on Montjuïc, Barcelona.

Celebrating Halloween in Spain is a little like celebrating Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.. It's not a tradition here so it's not really done.. but that is quickly changing with globalization. Santa and the ghouls of Halloween have begun creeping into Spanish culture bit by bit with niños embracing any excuse for extra sweets and presents. Popularity is also growing among some trendy hipsters - these costumed botellonistas can be seen haunting plazas in the city centre on hallows' eve. However some Spaniards resent this infiltration of their traditional culture with paganism, Americanism and corporate manufactured mumbo gumbo to sell more stuff. For the Spanish November 1st is an important day. On All Saints' Day most Spaniards attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs. Many also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. My students tell me that this one day for remembrance of ancestors and tending of graves is an important aspect of their culture, so much so that they've made it a public holiday.

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight hosted by an American expat. I'll be dressed up as the long-haired freaky girl from The Ring. I'm not a great fan of Halloween parties in general, having been drunk and costumed many times before but my Australian friend has never been to a Halloween party so her excitement kinda makes the whole party thing this year a little more exciting. Kinda like having kids around the house at xmas.

BoooHaaHa. Happy Halloween from Madrid!


Clarissa said...

Hope it was fun!

Shehani said...

Hey Clarissa! It was muy divertido!

Anonymous said...

Nice to read about another Canadian's adventures in Madrid...I thought I was the only Canadian here! daniel.silva@afp.com

Shehani said...

Hola Daniel! It's true, I haven't met many Canadians here. Tons of Americans though. Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by.

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