All Saints’ Day is a Christian solemnity that takes place every November 1. It normally serves to honor the deceased with different offerings and, on many occasions, to bring the whole family together.
Traditionally, on this day the tombs of the nearby deceased are visited, cleaned and filled with flowers.
And in Madrid, why and how can this holiday be celebrated…
Why is “Día de todos los Santos” celebrated?
The reason is nothing more than religious, from the Catholic Church, and dates back almost 1,300 years. The promoter of the measure was Pope Gregory III, who during his time as pontiff (731-741) consecrated a chapel in Saint Peter’s Basilica in honor of all Saints.
In this way, it was sought that all the saints be venerated at least one day a year. It is believed that the chosen date, November 1, was because it coincided with a holiday of the Germanic peoples, and in those years the objective of the Church was to eliminate pagan celebrations.
How is “Día de Todos los Santos” celebrated in Spain?
In Spain the custom is to approach cemeteries with bouquets of flowers to visit loved ones who are no longer there and thus make their memory remain, this is especially practiced by older people. In all the churches special masses are celebrated in memory of all the deceased.
Another very popular activity in the north of Spain is going out to the streets or the countryside to enjoy a traditional chestnut. This consists of leaving the house with friends or relatives and eating chestnuts together, which have been roasted in the traditional way with a small fire or in a more modern way, with a portable grill.
It is also the ideal time to eat sweets such as buñuelos de viento, which are a type of fried dough filled with cream, chocolate, cream or whatever you want, saint bones, they are made of marzipan dough in the shape of finger tubes thick, or panellets is made of almonds, potatoes, sugar and pine nuts, all accompanied by a bottle of muscatel wine.
Where to celebrate “Día de Todos los Santos” in Madrid?
The night before All Saints’ Day, October 31, Halloween is celebrated, this makes these two celebrations mix.
However, we can highlight that the All Saints’ Day festivity is older in the Christian tradition, on the contrary, that of Halloween, is more modern and is practiced more in the United States and English-speaking countries, this gives it a character more festive and playful at this time.
Every year more people dress up, buy pumpkins and there are many activities with a terrifying tone.
And Vitium Urban Suites, due to its privileged location, on Gran Vía 61, gives us access to all these ways of enjoying the so-called November Bridge in Spain.
There is a Ghost Tour and the Madrid of Mysteries Tour, these are quiet ways to discover terror.
The day of the dead is one of the most emblematic traditions of Mexico, and to celebrate, Mexican families build altars, between October 7 and November 13 you can freely visit this peculiar altar in the House of Mexico. It is also possible to follow a free guided tour in groups of up to 25 people. For better organization, it is necessary to book the ticket in advance.
On the Paseo de Recoletos, the fourth edition of the Madrid Autumn Craft Fair arrives, an event that every year brings together artisans from the Community of Madrid, a good walk to buy handmade things.
The Almudena Cemetery celebrates its fifth edition of the Concert of Silence, on the occasion of the November 1 festival. There are three free one-hour concerts in tribute to those who rest within its walls. At 11:15 a.m. the baroque violin and cello concert will begin, at 1:00 p.m. the quartet of voices, percussion and organ and at 4:00 p.m. that of organ, soprano and percussion.
The Sacramental cemetery of San Isidro celebrates a new edition of Adeternum, they have designed a route to discover the importance of Benlliure’s work dedicated to illustrious characters who rest in this cemetery. You can participate between Friday, October 28 and Wednesday, November 2 at 11am.
This weekend you can enjoy new exhibitions, cooking shows and tastings at the Cebada Market and music and shows in Lavapiés.
We hope that among all these options you can enjoy this celebration of “Día de Todos los Santos” in Madrid.