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La Castanyada

La Castanyada - Catalonia news

All Saints’ Day is celebrated in Catalonia with the Castanyada, a popular tradition focused on autumn products.

The last years, this tradition is being celebrated the eve of All Saint’s Day, but traditionally it’s celebrated on 1st November. The fiesta consists of eating chestnutspanellets (typical almond cakes), sweet potatoes and crystallized fruit, accompanied by muscatel, the most famous Catalan drink.


According to tradition, the day before All Souls’ Day the bell ringers played the bells all night long, so they ate chestnuts and wine to recover from the effort. Other versions say that this celebration is related to ancient funerary meals, where only vegetables, pulse and panellets (symbol of tribute to the deceased) were served.


Be that as it may, currently the Castanyada is one of the most moving Catalan traditions; it’s a party where friends and family are joined together, the eve of All Saints’ Day, to dinner and enjoy with the typical desserts.


In addition, the whole autumn the chestnut sellers are in the streets, selling chestnut and sweet potatoes wrapped in newspapers. The chestnut seller is very representative of the season; posters of an old woman, dressed with modest warm clothes and with a headscarf, adorn almost every school during the previous week of the Castanyada.


Photography: Josep Ma. Rosell


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