Andai de día, que la nuechi ye mía

(Walk during the daylight, the night is mine)

Local traditions in Asturias, and much more…  Do you think that enlightened pumkins are just for american Halloween?

 

We are nearly in the All Hallows Eve. Or Halloween, Samhain, Tosantos, Night of the Dead… These is a data where the pagan and the religious mix, separate, stir or shake, like a gintonic. Pure syncretism. From the festivities of muertitos in Mexico to the Spanish Don Juan Tenorio.

Is it a Christian or a pagan tradition? It’s hard to get it right. Acording to Celtic culture, it was a celebration of the end of the harvest.

Anyway, today we would like to tell you what or who the “Güestia” is. Either the “Santa Compaña”, or the “Burra Parda”, or the “Hueste de ánimas”, or the “Estadea”, or the “Corteju de Genti de Muerti” ……. Popular Asturian, Galician, Castilian, Extremaduran traditions… In Asturies, the Güestia is a procession of dead people who roam penance on the roads, announcing death, on this magical night. If you meet them, it is said that you will die within a year, unless you are a “Vedoria” person. In that case, they cannot affect you, but you can predict who is going to die soon.

Surely, nobody wants them to come to their house, of course. Therefore, lights are put on the roads, to light their way and pass by, not to stand. In the absence of electric light, hollow pumpkins were put on, with holes and candles lit inside. Hollow pumpkins with a candle inside… what does it remind you of?

In Ireland, the Banshees announced death. In Zamora, a ragged woman who stinks does the same.

Religion or paganism? Legend or reality? Invention or popular culture?

I know, everything is pure legend, popular culture that goes far away from borders and survives for centuries.

But just in case, during the Hallows Eve…

“Andai de día, que la nuechi ye mía”

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