Halloween en Alcalá

Halloween en Alcalá

Halloween in Spain goes back to the origins of the holiday.  This day is meant to be scary.  Here you will not see people dressed as cute or sexy anything like you would in the USA.  Everyone from adults to children will put all their efforts into creating costumes that are out to horrify.  Blood, guts and darkness rule the costumes in Spain.  This is because Spain has another holiday, Carnaval, where they dress up as whatever they like.  So when planning an outfit, the easiest thing to do is go as something dead, a dead teacher, a dead doctor etc.  Zombies, vampires and “sugar skulls” are also very popular costume ideas.

 Another difference about how Spain celebrates Halloween is that there is hardly any trick or treating.  One of the largest reasons for the lack of the tradition is the living situation.  Most people in Spain live in flats, instead of houses like the USA, which does not bode well for trick or treating.  The other reason is that the holiday is still relatively new to the country.  While the younger generations know about the traditions from school or films, the older generations have less experience and knowledge of the holiday and all it entails.

 WATCH OUT! ZOMBIES ARE ON THE ATTACK!!  For the last 5 years, Alcala de Henares has been taken over by Zombies on Halloween as the march down Calle Mayor.  People find their scariest zombie costumes, complete with blood, axes, and other terrifying accessories to participate in the parade of the dead.  It is quite a spectacular to see but be prepared to get a few scares.  This will be the 6th year of the event and it will take place on October 31st, starting in Plaza de Santos Niños at 22:15.   Come participate or just to spectate, a “spooktacular” time is to be had by all.

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If you are not one for all things terror, there is another tradition in Spain that usually occurs on the 31st of October and the 1st of November.    The play Don Juan de Tenorio is a classic.   As with all great plays, Don Juan is a love story but of course it is not easy for the lovers, Don Juan and Ines.  There are bets, challenges, kidnappings, duels and deaths to be confronted before the lovers can be together forver and that doesn’t mean in this life.  The show does have a spooky part as the final act includes ghosts (Ines and her father) coming back to haunt Don Juan.   In 2002 the representation of Don Juan de Tenorio in Alcala de Henares was declared a “Fiesta de Interés Turístico Regional”.  Some years they have done the play as a progressive theatre, completing each act in a different plaza around the center of Alcala.  This year it will be held exclusively in the “Recinto Amurallado del Palacio Arzobispal” but they will still be having the different acts on different stages around the “Recinto”.  The show will be Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th with both starting at 20:00.  The tickets are free which is one reason the event draws a large crowd! Another thing to note is that the whole play is done outside, so if you plan to go be prepared with warm clothes and to stand during the performance.  Though you can come and go as you please, and many people go to watch just part of this very famous play.  It is definitely worth a visit to see at least one act of the incredible show!

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Author

Rachel Lynn Polkow
Rachel is from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Butler University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Primary Education and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language. During her time at Butler, she studied abroad at the University of Alcala for a semester. In 2013, she moved to Spain to complete a Masters degree in Teaching and Learning Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Alcala's Instituto Franklin program. After that she taught English in public schools in Alcala de Henares for two years. Currently she is working at an academy in Alcala de Henares and looking for new adventures to teach English abroad.

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