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IN PICS: This is how All Saints’ Day is celebrated in Madrid

Madrid’s biggest cemetery is the final resting place for more than five million dead, a veritable city of tombs and niches that stretches out from the east of the city towards the airport.

IN PICS: This is how All Saints' Day is celebrated in Madrid
All photos by Lynn Spreadbury / The Local

El Día de Todos los Santos, a public holiday across Spain that falls on November 1st every year, is for most people a day of remembrance. 

In Madrid, La Almudena cemetery comes alive, so to speak, each year on November 1st– All Saints Day – when families visit the graveside of their loved ones, lay flowers, spruce it up or even stop for a picnic.

In 2018, photographer Lynn Spreadbury joined the masses who visited La Almudena and captured on camera what this day of remembrance and celebration is all about.

The impressive gates to La Almudena cemetery where flower sellers set up stalls. 

Families gather to remember loved ones.


El Día de todos los Santos, or All Saints Day is a time for sprucing up graves. 


A woman gazes up at the tomb of her late husband. 

Flowers decorate to decorate the cross on a grave.

Bouquets are arranged on tombstones.

All Saints’ day is a busy day at the cemetery.


Candles and flowers laid in remembrance.


A family remembers their lost loved-ones at sunset. 

READ MORE: Five weird and wonderful Spanish traditions on All Saints’ Day

OFFBEAT

Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.

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