Fundació Paulí Bellet & Casal Català de Washington DC cordially invites you to attend the popular Catalan tradition ‘La Castanyada’

The Castanyada (Catalan pronunciation: [kəstəˈɲaðə]) is a popular Catalan festival, celebrated on All Saints’ Day. Like Halloween, its origins are in an ancient ritual festival of the dead. It consists of a meal of chestnuts, panellets, sweet potato and preserved fruits, typically with moscatell to drink. Around the time of this celebration, it is common for street vendors to sell hot toasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper. In many places, confectioners often organise raffles of chestnuts and preserved fruit.

It seems that the tradition of eating these foods comes from the fact that during All Saints’ night, the night before All Souls’ Day in the Christian tradition, bell ringers would ring bells in commemoration of the dead into the early morning. Friends and relatives would help with this task, and everyone would eat these foods for sustenance.

The festival is usually depicted with the figure of a castanyera: an old lady, dressed in peasant’s clothing and wearing a headscarf, sat behind a table, roasting chestnuts for street sale.

Come and celebrate the Castanyada with theFundació Paulí Bellet and  the Casal Català de Washington DC.

Day: Nov. 5th 2011 (Saturday)
Time: From 3pm to 7pm
Where: 4601 North Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD (see map here). Metro: Friendship Heights (10 minutes walking distance)

  • From 3pm to 5pm: crafts, drawings, kids make up, and prepare panellets
  • 5pm: a storyteller will explain the Castanyera story to children
  • 5.30pm: candy games (‘pinyata‘)
  • From 5.30pm to 6.30pm: time to eat chestnuts, panellets, and more
  • Before 7pm: clean up and end

Price: The Casal Català will buy everything — these are the entrance fees:

  • $10 per person
  • $25 per family with children under 12 (children under 5, free)
  • $30 per family with children above 12

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Please, send us an e-mail detailing how many children (and adults) will come

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DO YOU WANT TO HELP? We are looking for volunteers for the upcomimg celebration of La Castanyada. Volunteers are required for the following shifts and activities:

  • From 3 pm to 3.30 pm: Set up
  • From 3 pm to 5 pm: Children activities: We need one volunteer for each of the following stations: crafts, drawings, make up kids, and to prepare panellets
  • From 6.30 t0 7 pm: Clean up

Should you be willing to make la Catanyada a memorable envent while having some fun, please send an email to, expressing your shift and activity preference.

Volunteers have their entrance fee waived.

We thank you in advance for your support!

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