Autumn is well underway and we have already reached that festive time of the year where many countries celebrate Halloween, Dia de los muertos and Todos los Santos.
…And then there’s Cadiz, where the celebrations are a little more, well, strange!
Tosantos (Todos los Santos) is celebrated by the Gaditanos (those from Cadiz) every year on the eve of October 31st and on November 1st.
All Saint’s day is generally a solemn day in most countries where it is celebrated, and is traditionally a time when relatives would take candles and flowers to the graves of their loved ones.
In Cadiz whilst the religious traditions are also taking place, the locals use this time to show their famous sense of humour and ingenuity.
November is a time when new autumn and winter produce is introduced to the local markets, so it is based around this – a way of celebrating local products.
Around Cadiz’s markets, the stallholders who want to will take part in an unusual competition involving putting fancy dress on their products – imagine a Halloween costume on a watermelon, or a prawn dressed as Elvis!!
The stall chooses their own themes and over the years there are more and more well-known characters turning up. Some market stalls will go to the trouble of creating a whole scene, like under the sea, with the courgettes and onions dressed as fish – you have to see it to believe.
Some of the stalls might not be for the faint-hearted, with whole pigs dressed as local peasants stood behind the counter. Or huge fish heads in hats and scarves!!
The artistic and often hilarious work is judged and a prize is given, but also it’s a chance for locals and tourists alike to get out and about and to enjoy and get to know their local markets.
The event is accompanied by food and wine tasting, dance and music and special event for children.
It’s a great way to celebrate this time of year, before the countdown to Christmas begins.