Halloween here, Halloween there… For a few years now, the popular pagan festival has been celebrated anywhere in the world and, in Ibiza, we will not be less. This year there are dozens of Halloween parties that will take place on the island and, fortunately, many of them are still linked to our authentic tradition: that of the 'Dia de Tots Sants'.
And we do not have to forget that we have our party, with its own history and its customs. It is undeniable that the disguise is an enormous attraction, especially for children, but both traditions need not be incompatible.
Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year in most Anglo-Saxon countries and if there is someone who celebrates it in style, it is the Americans. However, this holiday has its origin in the ancient Celtic festival known as 'Samhain' (end of summer). That day the Irish celebrated the last day of the harvest season and welcomed the Celtic New Year.
Day of Tots Sants and 'Trencada de fruits secs'
But, let's go to what interests us: the Ibizan tradition that, how could it be otherwise, is linked to gastronomy. On November 1 we celebrate the 'Dia de Tots Sants', a tribute to those who are no longer with us. On the night of October 31, families gathered around the table to enjoy a copious dinner called 'sa trencada'. During the evening, people used to eat fried porcella (pork), nuts, seasonal fruit such as pomegranate, fritters bathed in country wine and sweet wine and, in those houses that could afford it, panellets.
Candied fruit was also very important during the celebration. According to tradition, the 'godparents' gave it to their godchildren.
Apparently, the families themselves went out to the forest to collect the nuts and pine nuts with which they carried out the 'trencada' and made the panellets, of Catalan origin. Everyone gathered at the table and broke them to get the fruit, hence the word 'trencada' (trencar = break).
By the way, in Ibiza he also went from house to house, although not to participate in the famous 'Trick or treat'. In our case, young people got hold of a carrycot and asked for something for souls.
Everything ready for a dinner for the deceased
Before going to bed, the Ibicencos left the table set up so that the deceased could also enjoy the food.
An oil lamp remained lit on the table to facilitate the visit of the souls to the living ones from the midnight. The next day, the family gathered around the table again. On it they passed a rosary and, after that, they ate of what was left over.
That same day he was used to visit the grave of the deceased, clean them up and bring them flowers. This last act is the one that is currently maintained since that of the elaboration of 'panellets' has been relegated almost 100% to pastry shops.
What is being tried to recover is the traditional 'trencada de fruits secs', which is included in most of the party programs of some towns in Ibiza.