I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect for Halloween in Barcelona. I came abroad with the assumption that Spain did not celebrate, so I didn’t have high expectations. I couldn’t really imagine another country that would send their children to strangers’ houses to beg for POUNDS of candy while high school aged girls justify dressing as whores and spend the night binge drinking…
As it turns out Catalonia celebrates All Saints Day. This is completely unrelated to the traditional American Halloween. From what I understood from my Spanish teacher (meaning I could be entirely wrong), Catalans spend the day (November 1) taking flowers to grave sites and basically honoring loved ones who have passed away. I think. Although, that doesn’t really sound right. Maybe they just honor the saints…I’ll look into Wiki for that answer.
Basically what All Saints Day meant to me was that I got Monday off from class, and I got to eat traditional Catalan sweets that are special for the holiday.
Barcelona actually has gotten into the American Halloween spirit as they’ve discovered how to financially capitalize on the huge American study abroad population. To my surprise, every bar and club was decorated and all of the staff was in costume. All sorts of bars and clubs advertised costume parties all weekend.
My roommates also had friends visiting (four guys from Florence, one guy from Paris, and a girl from Rome)…meaning we got to take them to all of our favorite places.
The “Halloween” festivities started Saturday night when we went to Chupitos (which means “shots” in Spanish). The bar serves any kind of shot imaginable and about 200 unimaginable ones. Most of the shots are some kind of show…there’s fire involved or different colors or random food. The shots are more about entertainment than the actual alcohol. Chupitos became quite entertaining when Paige convinced her friend from Paris to do the “Monica Lewinsky” shot.
Did I mention that this friend is a boy??
None of us had ever seen what the shot involved in real life, but I heard enough stories about it to know that this poor kid was in for some humiliation. I didn’t know whether to warn him and try to talk him out of it or simply keep my mouth shut and move into prime viewing location…but the shot is called Monica Lewinsky. Could he really be that naive?
The answer is yes.
In an effort to not be too graphic, I’ll just say that the shot involved whipped cream, a faux male genitalia (aka a dildo), spraying liquid, and shame.
We all realized how wrong this was a little too late, and we quickly moved onto another shot that exemplified a slightly more admirable side of American culture: The Boy Scouts of America.
Nothing says Boy Scouts better than roasting marshmallows on top of a bar with lighter fluid, dunking in it a mystery shot, eating the shmallow and then taking the shot. If the inventor of that genius didn’t get an honorary Eagle Scout Award, then the Boy Scouts of America clearly needs to reevaluate their standards.
For as eventful as Saturday night at Chupitos was, the highlight of the weekend was definitely Sunday. One of the club promoters in Barcelona promoted a party at the W Hotel in Barcelona. It overlooks the Mediterranean, and I’m pretty sure staying there for a weekend costs more than my 4 months worth of rent. We instantly RSVP’d.
The theme was 1920s…too bad I left my flapper wardrobe at home.
After procrastinating purchasing an outfit all weekend, I woke up Sunday ready to go…And by that I mean, I got out of bed at 12:30, ate the best Turkish kebab ever, and then planned to get down to business. After my third bite into this heavenly delight (For you San Diegans…these kebabs are on par with the El Campeon burrito from Rigos), I realized EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays in Spain.
My roommate and I quickly brainstormed as we finished our kebabs. Thanks to the magic of blackberries (the phone, not the fruit), we discovered that ONE mall is open in Barcelona on Sundays. It’s also the only actual indoor mall in all of Barcelona.
You know the crazy moms at Wal-Mart at 5:30 am on Black Friday who are throwing elbows left and right and possibly dishing out black eyes to get that last Tickle Me Elmo?? The mall was filled with them.
Five stores later, I was sweaty, bruised, irritated, and without a flapper dress. We went into Claire’s to grab some accessories. We pushed our way through screaming teeny boppers to get costume pearl necklaces….the 18 euro, single strand, cheaply made, costume pearl necklaces.
Amidst all of this chaos and anger, I spotted a fedora and suspenders…I’m pretty sure there was a light shining down from heaven on them compliments of the costume saint. This explains why I am now an avid celebrator of All Saints Day. I scrapped the flapper costume and went for something a little more suitable…a 1920s mobster.
Put on a fedora, a white button down with suspenders, a high waisted black mini skirt and stilettos, and you have one hell of a gangster costume. All I was missing was a toy machine gun, but I wasn’t sure how far Spaniards take their costumes…I wasn’t really interested in getting taken down by the secret police, especially when there’s bomb threats going on. Nothing says Happy Halloween like a false terrorist scare.
The night was absolutely incredible. The party was in this small banquet room/bar at the top of the W Hotel and overlooked the entire city. Everyone looked incredible and the drinks were delicious. Throughout the night my friends and I kept making the, “This isn’t real, right?” faces.
The night ended at one of our favorite beach clubs, Opium. It was a little less classy in the costume department…But if I have to celebrate Halloween without snickering at the under-dressed floozies, then that’s a Halloween I have no interest in.