- With Children
On November 1st, in Catalonia you can enjoy one of the most characteristic products of All Saints: chestnuts and panellets.
La Castanyada is a tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages, when the bell-ringers had to ring the bells for dead all night so that the inhabitants of Barcelona prayed for their souls. It is said that the neighbors went to the church to bring nuts, cookies, sweets and wine, and that's where this party was born.
From the 18th century, after the religious celebrations of All Saints' Day, panallets became popular: small sweets of different shapes, made essentially of marzipan, almonds and pine nuts; a Catalan staple. One of the first written references of the panallets dates from 1807, in the famous Dietari del Barón de Maldà, where it is said that these sweets were already popular in Barcelona.
In this popular festival, chestnut is the other great protagonist as representative product of autumn. Along with the chestnuts, you can also taste: roasted sweet potatoes and moscatell, typical sweet wine.
The truly imaginative can take advantage of this festivity in conjunction with Halloween, a 2.500 year old festival of Celtic origin in celebration of the summer solstice, which coincides with October 31st in the Celtic calendar.
Later, this holiday spread throughout the Anglo-Saxon countries and all the way to the United States, where it soon became one of the most popular and fun holidays, especially for children, who celebrate by dressing up and pulling pranks.