What is a Magosto, when and where is it celebrated? –

If you like popular festivals, chestnuts and wine, you will love the Magosto festival. How? You do not know what it is?? That you have never heard of the Magosto? Well, it’s already taking time to learn about this popular celebration so old and endearing that it will catch you, especially if you are into the Druid philosophy, because it is intimately related to nature. we explain What is a Magosto, when and where is it celebrated?

What is Magosto?

Bonfire, fire and chestnuts to celebrate the harvest. Does it ring a bell? Well, you have probably had the opportunity to hear about other very similar festivals, such as the harvest festival, in which the grape harvest is also celebrated, or even to participate in it. The Magosto festivities do not have a specific date, but they are celebrated in regions of northern Spain and also in the Canary Islands. Outside of our country, neighboring Portugal also joins the party, with a slight change in name, since the party is called “magusto” there.

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As you have probably already imagined, it is a festival of Celtic origin, and apart from celebrating the harvest, it is also a celebration that has to do with the deceased, since it is in their honor and they are made participants in the harvest and, in On those days, they are remembered and thanked, giving them light and food in a symbolic way.

Specifically, the Magosto refers to the fire, that is, to the bonfire in which the chestnuts will be roasted, which will provide food for those attending the celebration, and which will be accompanied by other delicacies, especially liquids, such as new wine, cider and freshly squeezed pomace.

The protagonists of the Magosto, therefore, are chestnuts and fire. Who doesn’t like some delicious roasted chestnuts? They smell of vice and conquer when in the streets of many places in Spain the chestnut makers and chestnut makers set up their roasted chestnut kiosk when winter arrives.

Although, as we will see later, the Magosto is celebrated in several regions inside and outside of Spain, especially in Galicia it is closely related to the cult of the dead. It is a time of rituals, where the participants seek to purify themselves, heal themselves and leave the bad to attract the good, transforming their energies, while remembering their ancestors. It is not uncommon for many people to decide to visit healers and perform health-related ceremonies.

It is a highlight of the celebration of the Magosto that the chimneys of the houses are left litor that candles are lit and small fires are made, in order that loved ones who left can return home for warmth and food. For this reason, food is also left for them by the fireplace.

But,why is the Magosto celebrated? In the first place, this celebration has its roots in the fact that chestnuts, along with acorns, are one of the most primitive foods on which human beings have fed. Already in the Paleolithic we fed on these fruits. Not only directly from the tree, but its use in food was evolving, because the Romans expanded its cultivation and this gave rise to creating new ways of using it in the kitchen, whether it was natural, or even dried and ground to make flour.

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However, when potatoes and corn arrived in Spain from America, these new foods were displacing the chestnut. And so, since the end of the 18th century, its use has been declining. However, there was no shortage of romantics who decided to recover the leading role of the chestnut and pay homage to it, as a representation of a ritual of thanks for the harvest. Until reaching the Magosto as it is currently known.

On that day, prepare campfire to roast the chestnuts and, moreover, it is customary also dye your face with soot leftover from the bonfire.

When is Magosto celebrated?

As we said at the beginning, the Magosto does not have a fixed date of celebrationbut it does take place when the cold has already set in, which happens between end of september in some places, and from November 1 to 11 in others. They are parties where attendees are not limited to eating chestnuts, but also enjoy other flavors such as chorizos and new wine.

Nor is there a lack of traditional music from each region and dances to accompany and lower the feast, remembering our ancestors and our peasant origins. Each region, however, has its own variants.

Where is Magosto celebrated?

In Spain, the Magosto is celebrated in various regions of the north such as: Galicia, León, Asturias, Zamora, León, Cantabria, Cáceres or Salamanca. But also in other places like Canary Islands and Portugal. And it has even spread internationally where some places have adopted a similar festival called Chestnut Party.

These are the most common places of the Magosto (or Magusto in Portugal). But this does not mean that in other regions there are festivals that are also related to chestnuts, although they include other fruits or foods and are celebrated in a somewhat different way. For example, the Catalan castanyada, or the Extremaduran chaquetía on November 1, where quince jam and other delicacies are also tasted, coinciding with All Saints’ Day.

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