1 and 2 November, All Saints and the Day of the Dead:
A festival observed throughout the country, All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead are days when many Spaniards remember their dead relatives and visit their graves. As a Catholic tradition, the time of year does coincide somewhat with Halloween in mainstream culture, but the customs involved bear no resemblance.
However, despite the name, All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead do not revolve solely around sadness and nostalgia. They are days of gastronomic traditions with dishes prepared just for the festivals. Examples include huesos de Santo (literally saint’s bones) – stuffed marzipan tubes that are consumed virtually nationwide but are particularly popular in the Madrid region – and the Catalan almond cakes called panellets. Chestnuts, a winter favourite, are also featured extensively.
Late October into November: Elche's Medieval Festival
In Elche, a Medieval Festival has been ongoing throughout October and shall continue into November, transporting the visitor back to the Middle Ages and to the origins of this ancient city. It features street parades, medieval markets, performances and much more.
Located near the popular seaside city of Alicante, Elche lies in the autonomous region of Valencia, which is famed throughout Spain for its traditional partiality towards fire and pyrotechnics. Hence nights of such fiestas are guaranteed to end in a blaze of fireworks. What a spectacle!