by Sitges Group Apartments
If we think of the temperature in Sitges, we think of the heat, the beach, the sun... and it is true that although the cold also begins to show a little, it’s not a climate that doesn’t allow us to go out and make plans adapted to this special time of the year.
Whether you prefer Halloween or “Castanyada”, we will explain the origins of both celebrations, and of course, we will recommend plans to do in Sitges.
¿What is "La Castanyada"?
The stands where we can appreciate the smell of the chestnuts and sweet potatoes are one of our favorite things about this tradition, but in addition to this, it’s also very typical to eat the classics and delicious “panellets”.
According to tradition, eating chestnuts is closely related to the feast of All Saints, coinciding on the eve of this: the night of October 31. Its origins are found at the end of the 18th century. According to what is said, the bell ringers of the churches, who spent the whole night awake, rang the bells to warn the neighbors of the town of the arrival of the moment in which they could watch over their deceased. Being a very energetic task, they needed to restore their strength and as the chestnut was the fruit that was the most abundant at that time of the year, they took them to eat along with a little sweet wine that also helped them to fight the cold. Over time, this tradition spread throughout the territory.
In short, nowadays “La Castanyada” consists of a night in which families and friends gather to eat chestnuts, sweet potatoes, panellets (or All Saints' sweets that were deposited in the tombs so that the deceased would be nourished in the afterlife), and candied fruit, all accompanied with sweet wine. Although it is celebrated between October 31 and November 1, during practically the entire month of October, we can appreciate the celebration of this festivity in the streets, with different stands of chestnuts, sweet potatoes, etc.
Halloween, the scariest night of the year
Although “La Castanyada” is a deeply rooted tradition in Catalonia, the truth is that more and more people (also due to tourism in Sitges and other cities) choose to celebrate Halloween. A party that has been globalized for many years and that, contrary to what is believed, does not come from the United States. Its origin is pagan and has its roots in the Celtic festival Samhain ("end of summer" in Old Irish) about 2,000 years ago. The Celts thought that on the night of October 31, the deceased were returning to earth. The legend says that on the night of October 31, the door between the world of the spirits and the world of the living was left open. The ghosts and souls of the deceased took advantage of this moment to walk freely between both worlds.
Later, in the 8th century, this festival was renamed by the Catholic Church as "All Saints" (all saints) or "All Hallows" and, therefore, the previous night, "All Hallows Eve", remained "Halloween". Nowadays, children go out in costume to do the famous "trick or treat" by which they get candy by knocking on the doors of houses, and adults go to costume parties or watch horror movies, among other activities.
Today, Halloween night has become one of the most popular in almost all parts of the world, and that is why, having such a great reception, there are many towns and cities that offer activities for all audiences, from costume parties, to movie nights watching classics or even horror passages.
Sitges can’t not be less, that is why every year we celebrate the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia and with it, the mythical and most terrifying walk: the Sitges Zombie Walk. A tour that lasts two and a half hours and leaves no one indifferent.
Where to stay in Sitges?
Whether you prefer Halloween or “La Castanyada”, stay in our apartments and enjoy the city and its activities. Do you dare to come?