Celebrating Halloween in Madrid

October 31, 2015

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, skeletons, ghouls, and cobwebs began creeping up in coffee shops and stores around Madrid.  It’s still a relatively new celebration in this part of the world, but the irresistible draw of kids to candy is helping it increase in popularity.  We decorated our home with pumpkins and bats cut out of cardboard, cobwebs, and little ghosts that were definitely (not) pinterest worthy. I introduced the kids to ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Thriller’ while we decorated but then they got too scared of the ‘Thriller’ Music video, so I had to turn it off. Also, there was a pumpkin carving contest at school and Leire and her pirate pumpkin won! (I share in her accomplishment because I made the skull!) 

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spent Halloween day in Alcalá de Henares. Then I came home for a quick dinner and started loudly singing ABBA because I didn’t realize the dad was home (haha, oops). As soon as the doorbell started ringing with eager trick-or-treaters, I took the opportunity to grab a bag of popcorn, throw on my costume, and make my way over to Katie’s house because tonight was the night I was going to experience Madrid nightlife for the first time. It felt very much like home as the five of us listened to music, drank wine, and got ready to go out!  Katie was a cat, Stacie was a widow, Tuuli was an 80’s girl, Jenny was a hippie, and I was an angry bird.  (Hey, don’t laugh). Katie’s host mom proudly took a photo of us in our costumes which I thought was the cutest thing. 

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We took the metro along with zombies, witches, and other scary characters that I’m not even sure have a name.  This was the weirdest realization: everybody here dresses scary! It’s not like at home where people dress up in funny costumes, or as movie characters, or take the opportunity to wear as little clothing as possible. In Madrid, if you’re not scary, you’re the weird one.  Seriously, they go all out with the make-up:  all their faces are painted like decaying zombies! That made it easy to distinguish the tourists at least!

We went to a night club called ‘Joy’ which we thought was going to be free entry but apparently cost 15 euros because it was Halloween. I managed to casually walk past the bouncer without him noticing me, despite my bright yellow angry bird costume, and I rejoiced in being 15 euros richer.  The club was a typical club. It was very loud and very crowded (two things that I don’t really like) and they played a mixture of Spanish songs and American Top 40.  My personal favourite part was standing on the upper level watching two bananas dancing away and this overly drunk girl trying to dance with everybody. 

A typical clubbing experience here consists of staying out until the metro reopens at 6:30am…which for me is very weird because I’m the type of person who likes to wake up at 6:30am, not crawl into bed.  At around 3am, both Katie and I had had enough.  For the latter part of the night, we had sat on this black couch in the corner people watching anyway. If you remember, she bought these really high black boots in Alcalá and her feet were in pain. My feet were also in pain even though my shoes were hardly high at all (I’m just really bad at wearing heels) but I don’t particularly like dancing, so I’d much rather people watch.  I don’t know…clubbing always ends up being a lot less fun than I think it’s going to be.  Anyway, we were basically Grumpy cat and Angry bird. (Haha, just kidding)

So we left Joy and sat outside for a bit. There were some flat shoes lying on the ground and I half-jokingly suggested she wear those instead (she didn’t). Finding a taxi was incredibly challenging because they were all full! We had to walk around for a while so Katie took off her shoes, and of course the cleaner guy decides it’s the perfect time to power wash the streets of Madrid making the ground all wet.  Eventually, we miraculously managed to find a taxi (thank the Lord!!) and got home safely to bed while the rest of the zombies and ghouls still danced away.

On a side note, I was proud of myself for still being able to get up in time to go to the market in the morning!

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Kazandra Pangilinan

Kazandra is probably not that different from you. She eats, sleeps,and wonders about how to make the most of this life. This blog is dedicated to the trials and triumphs she has experienced in the process of growing up in her quest to find meaning, connection and happiness.

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