Being from the United States, Halloween is a must for my family. We decorate the house with spiderwebs and most of our costumes are DIY because we can be a bit more creative with our ideas. I find it heartfelt that some stores here in Madrid embrace the holiday and decorate their storefronts, it makes it feel a little bit like home.
But the perspective of Halloween here in Spain and other parts of Europe is different than in the USA. For example, last Saturday night some friends had a small reunion to celebrate the holiday; I dressed up as John Travolta’s Danny Zuko from the movie Grease, dresses all black with the famous “T Birds” logo on my back. I thought I looked pretty well but I was approached by one of their Spanish friends who had his face painted like a skeleton and asked me why I did not dress up. I explained to him my costume but he just gave me a puzzled look. Two days ago, a German international student studying here in Madrid asked me what I was gonna be for Halloween, I jokingly replied a “sexy cat.” She also looked at me confused and responded that that was not scary.
After this I began to see the picture. Halloween in Spain is about the creepy and the freighting. Locals want to dress up as ghouls, skeletons, vampires and witches. Unlike the United States where most kids’ costume is a character from Disney’s latest movie. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it, Halloween is a celebration of the dead but most of the costumes I see in party supply stores are characters from movies. The famous Gothic literary characters like Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster have been replaced with superheroes and goofy emojis. But in the end it is all about having a good time whether you are dressed as a gory zombie or a charming prince or princess just get as much candy as you can!