Here in Galicia, one of the autonomous communities of Spain, there are several unique festivals that aren’t celebrated in the rest of the country. One of these is…
EL MAGOSTO (a.k.a. CASTAÑADA),
a festival celebrated in some of the northern communities of Spain, including GALICIA (yeahhhh, baybay), Cantabria, Cataluña, Aragón, and Asturias. It’s also a popular traditional festival in Portugal, where it is known as “Magusto”. In the international community, people sometimes refer to it as “chestnut party”…. which sounds really strange, so we’ll just refer to it as “Magosto” 🙂
Q: What is this traditional festival you speak of?
A: Magosto is a festival celebrated around the end of October and the month of November and the main elements of the festival are a) chestnuts and b) fire. A long time ago, when the Romans expanded the cultivation of chestnuts, the chestnut became the food base of the population, as fresh produce, dried fruit, or a ground-up powder used to make flour.
But, in the 16th century, corn and potatoes started gaining popularity as they were imported from America, causing chestnuts to lose their importance in the Galician diet (and people from the other regions of Spain where chestnuts were a big part of the population’s diet)
Eventually, the festival of Magosto began to be celebrated and the festival involved harvesting chestnuts and served as a way to give thanks for a successful harvest and to remember how important chestnuts were to Galicians for many centuries.
Usually between November 1st (All Saints’ Day) and November 11th (Día de San Martín), people celebrate Magosto and there is a neverending supply of fire-roasted chestnuts (to be peeled and eaten), new wine, and chorizo. It’s celebrated at school and outside of school and there are still festivals going on this weekend even though it’s already November 15th!
The end. I now realize this post wasn’t very interesting, but at least you learned about a new holiday. PEACE OUTTT