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Saturday, October 23rd "Holidays and culture creep: Halloween in Sevilla"

This is a holiday on an upswing in Sevilla, with some mixed reactions depending on the generation and/or xenophobia of the person voicing their opinion. Many with younger children like the idea while some of the older generation seem to see the American culture creeping over the border. Either way it’s hard not to notice the changes each year. More people are seen in the streets wearing costumes and more parties in the bars are catering to one of my favorite holidays. Last year a few children were even spotted going door to door, although with nobody prepared with candy they didn’t have much luck. This year I’ve seen more costumes in shop windows and pumpkins showing up even in some of the smaller supermarkets (it used to be only El Corte Inglés). I am happy to see it in Seville, especially with all of the rumors of haunted places throughout the city. Parties can be found, especially in the Irish pubs who exported the tradition to the U.S. many years ago. And the bars tend to fill up with plenty of drunk Americans as well as a few Irish.

What makes some nervous about the “culture creep” are things like Christmas, where Santa has made some serious inroads for the holiday season. Each year I think there is more Santa and once one child starts showing off his Christmas presents, well, the others see it and want something before Reyes, too. The large and growing expat population also bring these traditions. So reactions to Halloween and Santa can be a little negative as people struggle to keep the cultural traditions of their country intact.