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A Spanish Holiday Weekend: Halloween, All Saints' Day & More!

November 03, 2021
by Nora Squires
Luz Festival - Palacio Real

Anddd just like that, we are in November! There’s something so magical about the fall: the weather, the flavors, the clothes, the gathering of friends and family. All of which this season I get to enjoy while studying abroad in Spain. Madrid does not disappoint when it comes to indulging in all the fall vibes we eagerly yearn for each year! A new season in a new city means new holiday traditions. This past weekend, Spain just wrapped up one of their own public holidays. I can’t wait to share how I spent my long holiday weekend. 

All Saints' Day

Halloween is celebrated in many parts of the world, but in Spain costumes and spooky festivities do not take precedence. Instead, Spaniards celebrate All Saints' Day or Día de Todos los Santos in Spanish. The holiday takes place on November 1st, but festivities are held October 31st - November 2nd.

How to Celebrate

All Saints' Day is a holiday reserved for remembering, mourning and celebrating loved ones that have passed. Many families will go to cemeteries to decorate their loved ones' graves with elaborate floral arrangements. 

Holiday Treats

It is very common to enjoy some of these pastries at family gatherings during the holiday. One of my professors brought buñuelos (pictured below) to share with our class before the long weekend! Closer to All Saints' Day, you will start to see these treats in pastry shop windows and I definitely recommend trying them.

Bunuelos cafe


Fried dough filled with pastry cream, whipped cream, or chocolate, reminiscent of donut holes or cream puffs


Los Huesos de Santos

Translates to “saints bones,” made of marzipan and sweetened egg yolk

Huesos de Santos
 Huesos de Santos


Bonus: Madrid Light Festival

All weekend long there was a dreamy light festival all around the streets of Madrid. A few of the sites on the map were even Halloween themed! This was definitely an added bonus to my weekend. It was magical to see some of the most popular sites like the Royal Palace and Plaza del Sol in, quite literally, a different light! 

Luz Festival

Final Thoughts

If you’re in Madrid for Halloween weekend, or what you know better now as All Saints' Day, I encourage you to check out the events that will occur throughout the holiday weekend. There were other small street festivals and spinoffs of Mexico’s holiday, Día de los Muertos, too! And if you absolutely cannot pass on a year without dressing up for Halloween, you certainly do not need to leave the country to find spooky festivities. Madrid will never disappoint! 

Until next time, 


Learn more about studying abroad.

Nora Squires is the Fall 2021 CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain, and is currently studying at DePaul University.
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