In This Issue:

Special Feature: Flamenco Halloween & New October Classes
Spanish Culture Feature: Halloween in Spain
Recipe Corner: Queimada and Huesos de Santo
Upcoming Events

Spooky Flamenco News

Learn an easy flamenco dance routine and join us in the afternoon on Sunday, October 31 for a flashmob performance and party (venue in Downtown Halifax).

Learn a Halloween fusion flamenco dance, suitable for all dance levels.  No flamenco shoes required. Only $30 (price includes the party).

You can also just join us for the Halloween Social on the afternoon of Halloween ($5 contribution only). Please register ahead on the link below so we have an idea of how many people to expect .

We began our classes last Saturday and had a lot of fun!  We will be continuing for the last two weeks of October.  There is still time to join us.  Classes are ‘hybrid’ style (both in person and online via zoom).

Learn the dance dates (online and in-person):

  • Saturday 23rd October, 12-1pm ADT
  • Saturday 30th October, 12-1pm ADT
  • Sunday, October 31st, 2-4pm ADT Social and flashmob dance performances in downtown Halifax. Costumes encouraged!


Halloween in Spain

The Spanish celebrate El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead or all Saints Day) while we are celebrating Halloween. It is a 3 day event. The holiday rituals are similar to those you would see in Mexico or other Spanish speaking nations. 

The three days are:

October 31 – Noite dos Calacús (Day of the Pumpkin in Galicia) and  in the rest of Spain Dia de las Briyas (Day of Witches)

November 1 – Dia de Todas Santos ( All Saints Day)

November 2 – Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

This is a children’s holiday or spiritual festivity intended to commemorate the dead. In cities and university towns you will always find big clubs, hotels and restaurants organizing glamorous events and colourful costume parties.

Halloween in Madrid

A new contemporary Halloween tradition has been established in the vibrant university town of Alcalá de Henares, just a 40 minute train ride from Madrid. Here they  stage a killer Zombie march featuring drummers, dancing in the streets, scary costumes, and a professionally choreographed flash mob.

Halloween in Galicia

Stemming from its Celtic roots, Galicia holds a Halloween that is similar to our Canadian holiday.  October 31 is known as ‘Noite dos Calacús’  (Night of the Pumpkins) . Galicians celebrate by dressing up, carving pumpkins, setting bonfires and performing mysterious rituals.

One of the many highlights of the Halloween celebration in Galicia, is the  special tradition of drinking a punch that is unique to the area. It is called Queimada and made from the Galician spirit aguardiente, unground coffee beans, sugar and lemon or orange peels. Dating back to the 11th century, the Queimada is traditionally prepared and served in a hollowed out pumpkin and consumed after reciting a spell known as the esconxuro.

The drink is set alight to burn the brandy, which is replenished throughout the evening.  The spell is recited while holding up a ladle of the burning liquid and then pouring it slowly back into the container.  The ladling continues until the full spell has been completed. The caramelized sugar produces a pretty blue flame.  Participants repeat  “With this drink made of fire, Devil be gone”.



Photo Credit: Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Queimada Recipe (Galicia Fire Drink)


Prep: 2 mins

Cook: 10 mins
Total: 12 mins

Servings: 8 servings

For the preparation of this drink, you will need a large fireproof clay pot or bowl, sealed or glazed on the interior and a very long-handled wooden spoon to stir the queimada. Sets of clay pots and glasses made specifically for this purpose are available through grocery stores and websites specializing in Spanish food.

queimada is also often traditionally made in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Add all the ingredients to the pumpkin and set it on fire, as in the standard recipe, being careful that the pumpkin itself doesn’t catch on fire!



  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the clay pot or bowl on a fireproof table of atop a cold BBQ grill. Be sure to have a large lid handy to put out the flames.
  3. Pour approximately 4 tablespoons orujo and 1 tablespoon sugar into a small glass and stir to dissolve sugar, then set aside.
  4. Pour the rest of the orujo and remaining sugar into the clay bowl and stir. Add the lemon peel and coffee beans and stir again.
  5. Pour the orujo and sugar mixture from the glass into a ladle and light it on fire. Carefully move the ladle very close to the clay pot until the orujo mixture in the pot catches fire. Stir frequently until the flames turn blue. Slide the lid over the pot to put out the flames. Serve hot.
  6. Enjoy!

Huesos de Santo

For Dia de Todos Los Santos (All Saints Day), which is celebrated on November 1st, people in northern Spain prepare pastries called Huesos de Santo (Bones of the Holy). This traditional delicacy is a roll made out of egg yolks and stuffed with marzipan. These treats are taken by families when they visit their loved ones’ graves.

Photo Credit: The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Saint’s Bones (Huesos de Santo)

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 30 mins
refrigerate marizpan: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 15 to 18
To prepare these sweet “bones,” a marzipan paste is first made from ground almonds and sugar. After cooling, the marzipan is rolled out and formed into tubes. Beaten egg yolks and sugar are heated to create a thick paste and then squeezed into the hollow tubes with a pastry bag.


  • 4 1/2 ounces almonds, raw and peeled
  • 2 1/2 ounces water
  • 5 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, for dusting


  1. Gather the ingredients
  2. Purchase peeled, raw almonds at the store, or blanch raw almonds and remove the skin. Dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Grind the almonds to a fine dust in a food processor. Set aside.
  3. Pour 1 1/2 ounces water and 3 1/2 ounces sugar into a medium size saucepan. Heat on high and bring to a boil while stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cool to the touch, place in refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes, so it is not as sticky and is easier to work with.
  4. Remove the marzipan from the refrigerator. Dust a board generously with powdered sugar. Place marzipan on board and dust top with sugar.
  5. Roll marzipan out to about 1/4-inch thick using a rolling pin.
  6. Cut into squares about 1 to 1 1/2-inches square.
  7. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, wrap marzipan around it and press the ends to seal, forming a little tube.
  8. Carefully remove each tube from handle, and place them on a cookie sheet.

Make the Filling:

  1. Heat 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Pour 1 ounce of water and 2 ounces sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil to form a syrup.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, break the eggs into a heatproof bowl and beat the eggs.
  3. Slowly pour the syrup into the eggs while stirring with a fork or wire whip.
  4. Transfer the bowl on top of the boiling water to make a water bath. Continue to stir the yolk filling until it becomes very thick like a pudding.
  5. Spoon the yolk filling into a pastry bag and squeeze the filling into each marzipan tube, from each end.
  6. Score the marzipan using the tines of a fork to give it slight ridges.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Upcoming Events


Daniel MacNeil at Cafe Lara in October

Thursdays  14th, 21st, 28th October
Cafe Lara, 2347 Agricola St, Halifax.

Daniel will be continuing to provide beautiful guitar music at Cafe Lara on Thursdays in October.  Enjoy some flamenco while you sip on a coffee,  hot chocolate or wine!  You may even see some dancers and singers drop by too!

Flamenco Halloween

Oct 23, 30 and 31

Learn an easy Halloween themed flamenco dance routine. Join us for a Halloween social and flashmob in Halifax, Nova Scotia


We are excited to announce two in-person World Flamenco Day events at the Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library,  5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax.

Tuesday, November 16, 12pm – Flamenco World Day program

FREE 1/2 hour lunchtime dance session with Maria Osende. 
Get up and dance!  Join Maria for this fun dance session.  No experience required.  All welcome!

Followed by a presentation on Flamenco, its origins and existence today as an important art form.

Sunday, November 28, 2-4pm – Flamenco Celebration

FREE Event – Join us for some dance and musical performances by artists of the Maria Osende Flamenco Company, as well as a student showcase by Flamenco School Maria Osende. The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in some interactive sessions to learn about some ancient flamenco rhythms and how to create them.