Altea, a city full of diversity, good food, special people, beautiful places, with the taste and smell of the sea, but, above all, with culture. Its streets reflect culture in every step you take, you feel the culture and part of it in the celebration of Saints' Day . Join us for a tour of those cobbled corridors that represent Altea in the midst of the celebration of this exciting and festive day.
All Saints Day Review
The first of November, that is the date and the day of the Saints is the occasion that is celebrated. This holiday corresponds to a Catholic belief in which all the deceased who have managed to overcome purgatory and have ascended to the presence of God are commemorated and applauded, enjoying life with Him in eternity. It is necessary to clarify that on this day not only are people already beatified and recognized in the church canon celebrated, but also those who have not been beatified but who have achieved permanent salvation are also commemorated.
In Altea, this celebration is solemnly respected, having an intimately religious sense where each street, each corner, each place will reflect their feelings and it will be evident on this day that fills even the smallest of the house with joy. Recently, the local cemetery was fumigated and will remain open during normal hours to allow citizens to fix the niches of their deceased on the eve of the celebration of All Saints' Day .
It should be noted that, for other countries, such as the Anglo-Saxons, these festivities have a more pagan meaning, however, for Spain, they have a more religious value. It is a solemn day, a memorial that is made in homage to the ancestors and to remind them of what they were in life and an opportunity to keep their memory alive and to transmit to the new generations the importance of the family, even if some members are not there. on this physical plane.
Customs and practices
In Altea, the days before the festivity are used to prepare the cemetery. Each family floods the place to clean and decorate the tombstones of their deceased relatives. These tombstones or pantheons are adorned with bouquets of flowers and the most common are chrysanthemums, which normally bloom on these dates. Undoubtedly, it is the great prelude to the festivity and that fills the place with gala, likewise, it invites us to nostalgia and to remember those happy moments shared with those loved ones who are no longer with us.
Another common practice takes place the night before November 1, and consists of leaving a lit candle on a window sill or in front of photos of deceased relatives, all with the firm intention of illuminating the I walk the deceased to find their home and thus not get lost in the dark.
In the same way, the same day masses are celebrated in honor and memory of loved ones with the greatest solemnity and with all the required feeling, which, accompanied by the characteristic music of Altea, make this festival one of the largest religious events in the city. . These masses are held in La Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Consuelo which is located in the old town of Altea and also in the Church of San Francisco.
Halloween cultural difference
Halloween is the worldwide holiday of the day of the witches, it has a pagan origin in Europe but it has been transmitted to America. In places like Mexico, Halloween is celebrated but more emphasis is given to the Day of the Dead, on November 1, equivalent to All Saints' Day in Spain. But the differences are abysmal between one day and another and between one celebration and another, that is, between Halloween and All Saints' Day .
It should be noted that Haloween encourages people and, above all, children to dress up and go out into the streets, playing house to house and asking neighbors if they want "candy or trick?", To which, the residents of these houses have bags full of candies or other sweets and they are distributing to the children who knock on their doors.
However, there is an emphasis on the dark, on monsters and terror, since, at that time, the cinema and television are also in charge of programming films that promote these themes. It should be noted that some beliefs and groups that promote spiritism have special activities during these dates, especially on Halloween.
On the other hand, although we already mentioned it previously, All Saints' Day celebrated in places like Altea, promotes the religious and is not done to instill terror in its practitioners or spectators, but to pay tribute to the relatives who have already departed from this world. Its objective is to keep the living memory of those ancestors and pass on their legacy from generation to generation, a special day to honor them.
Pumpkin Buñuelo (Traditional food)
If there is any similarity between Haloween and All Saints' Day celebrated in Altea , it has to do with the use of the pumpkin, although perhaps its use is different. For one, decorative and for another, used in the culinary, the truth is that this time we will show you what this delicious appetizer is about and how to prepare it.
During these mentioned days it is autumn for the people of El Alto, and it is time to harvest the pumpkins. Farmers began to use pumpkins for the buñuelos or "bunyols" typical of these dates, it is more a variant of the so-called wind fritters, although basically, it is added to a mixture of flour and fried. There are multiple recipes and even several ways to prepare and present them, for example, in the form of rings with a hole in the middle or balls, but we present a very simple one.
Not only in Altea but very typical of Valencia, and for many festivities, but with special emphasis on November 1, for the pumpkin fritters you will need the following ingredients:
- 400 grs. Pumpkin without skin
- 125 ml. Cooking water
- 20 grs. Sugar
- 7 grs. Salt
- 450 grs. Flour
- 25 grs. Baker's yeast
- Sugar to coat
- 1 tablespoon Orange Blossom Water
- Sunflower Oil
- Zest from the skin of an Orange
As for the preparation, first the pumpkin must be peeled and cut into large cubes and immersed in water and boiled for approximately 20 minutes, when it is soft it turns off. It must be drained, but it is very important to reserve the cooking water. Then, using a fork, squash the pumpkin until it becomes a paste without lumps.
The baker's yeast must be diluted with the 125 ml. of cooking water and it should be stirred very well. In the same way, in a bowl place the pumpkin paste, the sugar, the water with the yeast, the orange blossom water, the orange zest and the salt. This is important that it is stirred very well, for this you can use an electric or manual mixer.
Next, sieved flour is added little by little and stirred until well integrated. Then the dough is left to rest for 15 minutes covered with plastic wrap and at room temperature.
Then a lot of sunflower oil is heated in a deep frying pan or you can also use an electric fryer.
When it is very hot, dip your fingers in cold oil and take a piece of the rather soft dough and you should give it a round shape with a hole in the center, or without a hole or in the shape of a ball, as you prefer. You put it in the pan and you turn the fritters and when they are fried they are removed and placed on a plate or container that has an absorbent paper.
Finally, when they are almost cold, add them until they are overflowing with grain sugar and you can now enjoy your rich pumpkin fritters. Do you see how easy it is? The only different ingredient is the pumpkin that is added to the mix. It is a delicious aperitif, that if you are in Altea it is easy for you to join the tradition of All Saints Day and participate with your family and neighbors.
Without a doubt, it is a tradition full of culture and a deep religious sense that, in a place like this, a Mediterranean town with a wide musical tradition, becomes an activity that cannot go unnoticed by any visitor. We invite you to join the festivity and remember your ancestors and pass on their family legacy and pay tribute to their memory.