All Hallows’ Eve

With the arrival of All Saints’ Day and All Hallows’ Eve, many localities recover the ancient celebration, of Celtic origins, of the night of the souls, the night in which the spirits were authorized to leave the cemeteries and “resurrect” by taking over of the bodies of the living.

Fear led people to decorate their houses with terrifying symbols, such as skulls and bones, which should serve to drive away spirits. For the same purpose they dressed up as hideous characters.

Catholic doctrine reconverted this ancient pagan festival on the night of the dead, in which the souls of purgatory wandered in search of eternal rest and came to us for help, help that we should give them in exchange for their intercession for us to achieve our well.

The traditional celebration of this festival consists of emptying pumpkins through a small hole made in their base, making holes in the shape of eyes, noses and mouths with a terrifying aspect and placing a lit candle inside them. These pumpkins were carried in procession at night or put on doors and windows to scare people. There was some person who disguised himself as a ghost and went out to the street with the same purpose to scare.

During the dictatorship the pagan celebration was prohibited, so that it ended up falling into oblivion, and it was a few years ago when processions with illuminated pumpkins began to be held again and some of the traditional rituals typical of the festival began to be recovered.

Since then there have been numerous events that have been held in Aragon on the occasion of the Nueit d’Almetas, and although the last two years have suffered the consequences of the pandemic, this 2021 already gives us some opportunity to gather around the fire to hear witch stories and enlighten the hackles to find their way.

Specifically, the Huesca town of Villanúa has organized an evening with a series of events around this Nueit d’almetas, including a parade by Os diaplerons d’o lugar and the presentation of the album Cierzo lento, a work by Javier Idoipe in which the artist from Zaragoza delves into the world of traditional music from Aragon and the jota through electronic music.

These events will take place in Villanúa (Huesca) on October 31, 2021.

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