Vigo, you're still in my heart!
In Galicia, fall is chestnut (castaña) season. They start falling from the trees, and as you walk along the city streets you find a vendor roasting them on what seems like every corner. They're a very popular fall/winter snack that has a deliciously hearty taste.
They're so popular, in fact, that there's an entire festival devoted to them! This festival is known as Magosto. At schools in Galicia, one day in the middle of November each student is supposed to bring a sack full of chestnuts to school, and then the teachers build a big bonfire on the playground and roast said chestnuts. Then everyone gets to munch on them...mmm, delicious.
And as you might expect on a party day at school, the students get a little rambunctious. The tradition is that students take ash from the roasted chestnuts and run around trying to give each other (and any teacher they can catch unawares) a black mark on their face.
Of course, as the foreigner last year I had my fair share of kids (and even one of the other teachers!) smearing me with ash. By the end of the party, I looked like I'd literally walked through hell and back. But hey, it was worth it to experience another Galician festival and eat as many free roasted chestnuts as I wanted.
Magosto at my school last year
So, Galicia, I'm feeling a little bit of morriña today. But I have exciting news, I'll be back in terra galega for Christmas, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it! Since that's only about a month away, today I get to leave off with hasta pronto! Yippee!