This is what you need to know about Fiesta de Todos los Santos or All Saints’ Day

Fiesta de Todos los Santos or All Saints’ Day is an important festivity in Valencia and is celebrated on November 1st. It is a day to remember relatives and friends who died.

 

Halloween

As you may know, Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. This is an ancient Celtic Irish festivity that used to celebrate the end of summer and harvest period, the starting of the Autumn solstice. It was believed that, at night, spirits used to walk among the living and used to organize rituals to communicate with them. It was popular to light a candle in the balcony, for the spirits to find their way.

 

This tradition moved to North America with the Irish immigrants and became quite popular. Then it came back to Europe with some adds such as the pumpkins.

 

In Valencia, Children go to school dressed up this day and Halloween parties are organized in every bar and night club of the city. So except Halloween decoration everywhere: spider webs, skeleton, skulls, pumpkins.

 

The day after Halloween is a more intimate day in Valencia.

 

All Saints’ Day

November 1 is a Christian holiday celebrated in the Catholic Church known as Día de Todos los Santos, better known as All Saints’ Day. Many people go to the cemetery to offer flowers to their beloved ones and have a family gathering with food and drinks.

 

In Spain we love food and in many regions, we have a specific food that we prepare for special festivities. Here you have some typical sweets that you can find in most of the bakeries of Valencia during all Saints’ Day:

 

Huesos de Santo (the literal translation is bones of saints): made of marzipan filled with yolk (although you can find as well filled with strawberry, chocolate)

Buñuelos de viento: very similar to a profiterole without filling

Panellets: very typical valencian sweet, made of almonds and pine nuts. Only eaten during this period.

Fogassa: this is a flat round cake and is similar to a brioche. The dough can have either sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

 

We recommend you to try the grilled chestnuts that people sell in the streets and the sweet wine (moscatell or mistela) to accompany the sweets.

 

National holiday

All Saints’ Day is a national holiday in Spain which means that most people are free on this day. That means that many people from the surrounding villages will be in the city or on the beach and most of the shops and restaurants will be closed on this day.

 

As the 1st of November this year is a Friday, many Valencians will go to the birth village of their family to celebrate this festivity together and visit the cemetery.

 

If you are visiting the city during this weekend, as good weather is expected, we recommend you to rent a bike and ride the city to the beach or even go to the main cemetery of Valencia, where you can find interesting tombs such as the reputed painter Joaquin Sorolla or the popular early 20th century Valencian writer Blasco Ibañez.

 

But if you want to have a strong local experience you can drive or take a regional train to Cocentaina (95 km south inland). Here you will find the traditional Feria de todos los Santos: a huge fair that remembers a medieval market. This is the oldest and largest fair in the region and was established in 1346. Here you will find food stalls, handcrafts, animals, fun rides, folklore dances, music and much more.

 

Visit one of our 3 stores in Valencia to rent a bike or book a bike tour. You can find more information about Valencia Bikes on our website.