November 1 is a public holiday in Spain which is much more important traditionally than the Halloween celebrations which have grown in popularity among the young in recent years.
El Dia de Todos Los Santos, or All Saints’ Day is a day of remembrance, when families gather together to visit the graves of their lost loved ones and their ancestors.
This is the day when people return to their family pueblos and tidy up the graves or niches of their dearly departed, taking flowers and lighting candles at the grave sides.
This year is particularly poignant after more than 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed so many lives in Spain.
Last year strict measures were in place at cemeteries to prevent large gatherings so this is the first time since the COVID-19 hit that the traditional graveside visits can take place en masse.
People visiting cemeteries this year are advised to wear a face mask if they can’t guarantee maintaining a safe social distance of 1.5metres.
This year public cemeteries have increased their opening hours in the expectation of large crowds and picnicking at the grave side will also be allowed as in pre-pandemic times.
It’s a huge day for florists with people taking freshly cut bouquets to lay in memory of their dead.