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The Castanyada

A popular festival celebrated in Catalonia on All Saint’s Day consisting in eating chestnuts, panallets, sweet potato and preserved fruits, accompanied with something sweet for drink, mainly Moscatell, a sweet wine. It is said that the Castanyada originates at the end of the 18th century being then the typical funeral meal. While the chestnuts were roasting, prayers would be said for the person who died. After eating chestnuts other food is served: moniatos or sweet potatoes and panallets. Panallets is a traditional dessert consisting of small cookies in different shapes, but mostly round. Mainly they are made of a paste of almonds and sugar – Marzipan. The most known one are those covered with pine nuts and egg white. During these festivities the families gather together either at home or outdoors. The day of All Saints usually starts with Spanish families visiting their relatives in the cemeteries and going to church.