When I first was in Madrid 15 years ago Halloween was pretty much non-existent. And for those who did go out to celebrate, the costumes were just not right. There was this idea that Halloween costumes had to be scary, not like back in the US where they tend to be funny, sexy and scary. I think the most shocking moment for me was seeing a female’s costume related to an abortion – again, just not right.
Flash forward 15 years and I have to say I’m proud of how far we’ve come. Now, in general, I’m not a fan of all the US traditions and happenings making their way over to Spain (see: Fútbol y Fútbol OR Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball: A reflection on cultural imports) Spain is different; and I think it should stay that way. However, having said that, I don’t mind the adoption of some of the fun traditions, especially now that I have little kids.
Even in the last few years Halloween has really gained steam over here. A couple years ago I had a little shock when I brought my son in his costume to day care. It wasn’t because he was in a costume; all the other kids were dressed up as well as they said to dress them up for Halloween. The “issue” was that his cute little chicken costume was the only cute one; everyone else had their kids dressed up as witches or vampires, pretty much. And there was my little chicken…apparently this was more for Carnaval…
This year, however, I am happy to say that the school costumes were a big mix with some cute and funny ones as well. We’re making progress. Also in our apartment complex this year there were trick-or-treaters all over the place.
I took my kids all over the complex for more than an hour visiting apartments. Now we just need to improve the candy offerings at the stores.
Next up: Turkey Day!