Marbella’s Hot Chestnuts

Dia del Toston

Marbella Town Hall is cooking up 500 kilos of chestnuts in celebration of the Día del Tostón, next Wednesday,November 1, with a family day in the parks of Nagüeles in Marbella and Los Tres Jardines in San Pedro.

The Town Hall will be handing out half a ton of chestnuts at the celebration of the Chestnut Festival (Día del Tostón). The traditional festivals, organised by the Department of the Environment, in collaboration with Fiestas and the Mayor’s Office of San Pedro Alcántara, will begin at 12.30pm and go on until 8pm. There will also be children’s entertainment, bouncy castles and music.

The Councillor for Festivities, Yolanda Marín, thanked Hidralia’s manager, for the company’s help and support for festivals like the Tostón, “in order to participate and help to ensure that this tradition is not lost”.

El Tostón (which comes from the word tostar – to roast), is celebrated on November 1 each year and is atradition celebrated in Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara, together with towns in the surrounding areas such as Manilva, Benahavís, Istán and Ojén.

Until a few years ago, many of the inhabitants of the villages, on the eve of All Saints, organised night time excursions to the nearby fields of each area, where they enjoyed an evening eating roast chestnuts and drinking aguardiente (schnapps). Since the Junta de Andalucía prohibited making fires in the mountains, this tradition has moved to safer areas.

For the past few years, Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara have hosted tostones, which are only celebrated at locations specially earmarked by the town council. Traditionally, during All Saints’ Day, San Pedreños visit the graves of their loved ones to take fresh flowers.  The El Tostón was organised near the cemetery. Bonfires were lit and old hollowed out pots were placed on the fire filled with chestnuts.

Schnapps was another important element in this tradition. For it was attributed supernatural powers and purification as it was considered that by drinking it in front of the fire where chestnuts were roasted and eaten, you would then be free from the evils of your soul.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.