The ’Magosto’ is a traditional fiesta that is held in the evening, in which roasted chestnuts are eaten. The chestnuts are served with wine, homemade chorizos, pies and ’queimada’ (traditional alcoholic drink made with flamed eau-de-vie, fruit, coffee beans and sugar, which is prepared while reciting a ’meigallo’ or spell). This fiesta, which gathers locals around a fire and was traditionally a harvest celebration, reflects the importance of chestnuts before the arrival of corn and potatoes from America.
Several of Santiago’s neighbourhoods (San Pedro, Vista Alegre, etc) organise ’magostos’ during this month, which are accompanied by traditional music (bagpies, tambourines, etc).
From the end of October to the beginning of February, coinciding with the chestnut season, cones of roasted chestnuts (prepared using traditional-style charcoal) are sold in the street, at small mobile stands that are identical, small-scale replicas of the famous Santa Fe locomotive, making up a characteristic feature of the cityscape during the autumn.
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