The arrival of autumn brings with it many changes in the landscape and the celebration of those traditions that come to mind when we enter this season. Family evenings, school activities, local festivals and gastronomy are some of the characteristics of Catalonia’s traditions at this time of year.
In our article ‘Autumn begins today’, we present a series of initiatives that you can carry out during these autumn months on Costa Dorada, Costa Brava and Barcelona. So that you can enjoy your getaway or holiday at this time of year, we are going to explain below everything you need to know about Catalan culture and its most deeply-rooted traditions.
If you are visiting any town on the Catalan coast, Barcelona or its surroundings, Shuttle2Sun offers its shared transfer services and private transfer services, low-cost and sustainable, from Barcelona airport, Barcelona port, Girona airport and Camp de Tarragona AVE train station.
On the eve of All Saints’ Day, the 31st of October, the same night as Halloween, even the smallest villages in Catalonia celebrate La Castanyada. The origin of this tradition goes back three centuries to a time when a funeral feast was held and offerings were made to the dead.
On this night, from the youngest members of the family to the oldest, they sing the Castanyera song while eating roasted chestnuts. It should be said that the Castanyera is associated with an old woman, who wears simple warm clothes and a scarf on her head and is one of the children’s favourite costumes on this day.
Nowadays, schools organise activities dedicated to this Catalan tradition, and in the streets, you can find many places where roasted chestnuts are sold around this date.
Another of the typical foods of La Castanyada that you can’t miss out on are ‘panellets’. They are made with a marzipan base, mixed with sweet potato or potato. The most popular ones are covered with pine nuts, but nowadays there are many alternatives, such as other nuts, chocolate or grated coconut, as well as coffee, pistachios or oranges, for the more original ones. You can find them in all Catalan patisseries.
On the other hand, if you dare to make them at home, there are dough mixes available to make them easier, or you can take the initiative and make them from scratch. To make them, you will need eggs, sugar, ground almonds, sweet potato or potato, and the topping you want to add, whether pine nuts, sliced or chopped almonds, icing sugar or grated coconut.
First of all, you must boil the sweet potato or potato, and once it is ready, mash it with a fork. Mix the egg with the sugar and ground almonds to create the marzipan, and add the sweet potato or potato until you have a homogeneous mass. Once the dough is homogeneous, make small balls with your hands and coat them with the topping you have chosen. Finally, brush the panellets with an egg and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees. After this time, take them out and leave them to cool, ready to enjoy!
If you want your experience to be complete, you can accompany the panellets and roasted chestnuts with muscatel wine, a traditional drink at this time of year.
If you are thinking of travelling to enjoy La Castanyada on Costa Dorada, Costa Brava or Barcelona, remember that you can opt for Shuttle2Sun‘s shared transfer services and private transfer services to get to your destination from Barcelona airport, Barcelona port, Girona airport and Camp de Tarragona AVE train station.
Saint Cecilia, patron saint of Music
Every year, on the 22nd of November, Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, is celebrated with a wide variety of activities in towns and cities, from symphony concerts to choral performances. In addition, in schools, joint cantatas are held in commemoration of this date.
If you visit Barcelona during these dates, we suggest you visit the Palau de la Música Orfeó Català, a Modernist jewel declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was built by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner between 1905 and 1908. There are various options for guided tours so that you can discover the different rooms that make up this majestic palace.
The beginning of autumn was the ideal time for the grape harvest, when the grapes were harvested from the vineyards to be pressed. Subsequently, once the harvest was finished, many wine festivals were held, especially in towns where this product was of great importance. This tradition has been maintained over the years.
Catalonia currently has up to 12 wine and cava designations of origin, such as DO Penedès, DO Terra Alta, DO Tarragona, DO Empordà, DO Montsant, DOQ Priorat, DO Alella and DO Catalunya, among others.
There are numerous wine routes where you can discover these local products and their artisanal production, enjoying a gastronomic and cultural experience. For example, the Priorat Wine Route, the Penedès Wine Route, the Trepat Wine Route, the DO Empordà Wine Route, the DO Tarragona Wine Route, etc.
Despite not being a Catalan tradition, Halloween is here to stay. This American celebration is increasingly accepted by families and, especially, by the youngest members of the family. Castanyada and Halloween have ended up coexisting within the Catalan culture, during the same night of the 31st of October.
If you find these traditions interesting, you can experience them first-hand by travelling to the Catalan coast, Barcelona or the surrounding area. Remember that Shuttle2Sun offers its shared transfer services and private transfer services, low-cost and sustainable, so you can move from Barcelona airport, Barcelona port, Girona airport and Camp de Tarragona AVE train station.