In the Canary Islands, celebrations take on another dimension thanks to the mild temperatures of eternal spring, especially in October and November, when it can even be a few degrees warmer than the rest of the year. Celebrating Halloween in these Atlantic islands is something to do at least once in a lifetime. Between celebrating Halloween near ancient forests, where the breeze whispers the songs of other times in the treetops, or at sea, swimming among ghosts and marine life, it is possible to live a unique and different experience.
In the past, to celebrate Halloween, children would go from house to house in their neighborhood to ask for saints and receive almonds, walnuts, dried figs or chestnuts in exchange. Then they returned home to celebrate the dead to the sound of the voice of the oldest woman in the family, who told stories and anecdotes while sharing the spoils. The party usually ended with dancing in the street and a meal of hot chestnuts.
In the Canary Islands, Halloween, known as Fiesta de los Difuntos or Fiesta de los Finaos, is celebrated day and night in a thousand different ways. Houses, shop windows, parks and gardens are decorated with spooky designs. Families and adults can participate in parades of the undead and lost souls in all kinds of costumes, carry out traditional egg wars to scare away wandering spirits, or trek through the legendary sites of each island to admire magnificent vistas and an extraordinary nature.
The Fiesta de los Difuntos allows us to celebrate those who have passed away through offerings and visits to cemeteries which are transformed into a sea of lights with all the candles placed there, creating a peaceful and solemn atmosphere.
Many religious processions are also organized in certain regions of the Canary Islands. These processions may include religious icons and priests who lead prayers and celebrations.
The Fiesta de los Difuntos is an important cultural and religious tradition that reminds the people of the Canary Islands of the importance of family and the memory of ancestors. It is a time for reflection and connection with family history.
What to do on Halloween night?
Halloween is also an opportunity to celebrate the days leading up to October 31. The soul family sings and prepares food for deceased ancestors. For many years it has been possible to attend a parade in Gran Canaria, which starts from San Telmo Park in Las Palmas. The traditional “Llanoween” celebrated on the island of La Palma, in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane, is a festival for children. Organized in the Plaza de España, this event invites zombies, pirate caravels, skeletons, stilt walkers, face painters and jugglers to the great fright of the little ones.
More generally, Halloween evening in the Canaries is a time during which you can participate in themed evenings in bars, restaurants, nightclubs; you can also watch outdoor horror films, visit haunted houses or discover magnificent costume parades where people can show off their Halloween creations.
Experience Halloween differently
In Tenerife, at Playa de Las Americas in the municipality of Arona, nightclubs offer themed parties before and during Halloween night, with terrifying decorations and the obligation to dress up. In Gran Canaria and the south of the island, nightclubs and pubs are also good places to celebrate the Day of the Dead, with ghosts, music and the sea on the agenda.
For fans of a more traditional Halloween, Playa del Inglés is one of the places where tradition is most present, with hotels and parties specially designed so that the night never ends. At Playa de las Burras there are concerts featuring ghosts, vampires and witches who scare the audience through a terrifying scenario.
On October 31, it is also possible to take a four-hour haunted boat tour from Costa Adeje with a spooky crew. On board, the “haunted” atmosphere combines perfectly with the observation of whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The municipality of El Sauzal in Tenerife offers a special Halloween hiking route on Mount Ravelo, a very original way to celebrate Halloween.