Seville Snapshots: Halloween in Seville

When I left work on Halloween night, belly full of candy corn and about ready to crash from the sugar, I was shocked to see zombies walking the streets in Nervión. Now, I love Halloween and cemeteries and ghost stories, but Halloween has never been a thing in Spain.

Six years ago, I suggested a Halloween party at the high school I worked at as an auxiliar de conversación. Everyone came dressed as something scary but me. I must have repeated how to carve a pumpkin 31 times during my classes.

Afterwards, I was exhsuated and had to calm down by drinking in Ireland for the weekend.

In these six years, Halloween has taken over costume shops and restaurants, schools and bars. In fact, the only people who carved pumpkins at our annual Halloween bash were two little Spanish kids, one dressed as a tiger, and the other ones as a dinosaur.

The new Taste of America store meant we had actual American goodies this year – candy corn, funfetti cupcakes wrapped in Halloween wax paper, napkins with Frankenstein on them. I was once again reminded of how odd it feels to be so American in Seville, and so sevillana in America. It’s always at this time of year that my homesickness creeps in.

On Halloween, I had to put my game face on for work (meaning a plastic cup covered in pink paper). Many of the little kids dressed up, and we made ghosts out of lollipops and spiders out of construction paper. Afterwards, a quiet drink with a friend – a far cry from my first Saiman in Spain.

How did you celebrate Halloween?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Kaley says:

    Uh, I didn’t celebrate! Lame, I know! I did celebrate Todos los Santos with a huge merienda, though, so there’s that?

    My dad, for some reason, gave my suegro candy corn when he left. He’s a hoarder of sweets and he still has it. He eats like two or three pieces at a time. So this weekend he got it out and I recommended combining them with peanuts. I hope he does it! I used to have a love/hate relationship with candy corn, but now it’s all loooooooove, sweet love.
    Kaley recently posted..La Mili, Spain’s Former Compulsory Military ServiceMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      UGH Kike is the same way! He still has a tin of kelly beans I got him in NYC last August, gross! I definitely got a sugar high from the candy corn and am trying to still regulate my blood sugar!

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the homesickness creeping in this time of year. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because it comes along with autumn in New England. Living in Puerto Rico, we get all the Halloween merchandising, but not the spirit–and beauty–of the season. I miss Connecticut this time of year.

  3. I celebrated Halloween by sleeping in, cleaning house, and buying candy at the OpenCor. The day before, however, we had a huge Halloween celebration at school with everybody in costumes, lots of carved pumpkins, too much candy, and Charlie Brown. Like you, I also got pretty homesick but I think part of it was nostalgia for fall when I was a kid. Homesickness was promptly done away with after the consumption of copious huesos de santos, however…bahahah
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..How to Drink Coffee in Spain: 8 Ways to Order a Cup of JoeMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Yeah, the amount of sugar in the huesos probably had you in a sugar coma and you didn’t even notice!

  4. amelie88 says:

    My office actually had a Halloween costume contest (because it’s that kind of office) and encourage people to come dressed up. I wasn’t going to at first but then I changed my mind–I went as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. My supervisor dressed as Miss Piggy!! (The looks in the elevator that she got were hilarious since we work in an office that houses lots of fashion companies on the different floors, one woman asked her where Kermit was) One guy got really creative and came as Shrek. Didn’t win any prizes but it was a very fun day!
    amelie88 recently posted..On the Literary Trail of New York: Washington Irving’s SunnysideMy Profile

  5. Pedro Meca says:

    you’re right Cat that Halloween has never bin a thing in Spain, but in the last years it’s changing slowly, and now children really enjoy it, and that’s a good thing.

    i am really surprised that Halloween is huge in Sevilla, i mean, Sevilla is perhaps the most deep-rooted city when it comes to Catholic traditions with people really ‘mad/crazy’ at their Virgins and Christs they carry on their shoulders.

    anyway i hope that you enjoyed your Halloween!

  6. Harlynn says:

    Who would’ve thought in other countries Halloween is so different.
    Very interesting post!

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