Is Halloween celebrated in Canary Island? The answer is – no. In Canary Islands Spanish celebrate the holiday known as “finaos” that has similarities with Halloween. On the evening of Finaos children go around their neighborhood similar to Halloween trick or treat. However they knock on the doors collecting dried fruits (no candy;-).
Spanish families get together and recall their deceased ancestors (“finaos”). Almost all families serve grilled chestnuts with honey rum and sign folklore songs. In Canarian culture this festivity is an opportunity for families and neighbors to get together to honor the memory of the deceased. Remembering the dead is considered the way to show love and respect. At the same time it is a celebration of life that intends to drive away the fear of death.
One of the tradition of this festivity is to visit cemeteries and bring flowers to the graves or to attend a mass.
Spanish speaking countries have different traditions to commemorate their dead family members. In Mexico, for example, people bring food for the deceased to their graves. Moreover they stay for a bit and have a meal at the graveyard. This way they show respect to their deceased family members. Mexicans also believe that they are still present in the lives of their relatives, at least once a year.
Although there are more and more people celebrating Halloween instead, the tradition is still maintained, especially among older people. Unlike Halloween, “finaos” has a deeper religious sense.