Halloween in the Canary Islands: sunshine, sea, and spooky delights

As Halloween nears, the Canary Islands offer a unique and sunny escape from the gloomy, chilly weather typically associated with this spooky season in many parts of Europe, with their pleasant temperatures, abundant sunshine, and distinct local Halloween traditions.

As Halloween approaches, thoughts turn to ghosts, ghouls, and the thrill of the spooky season. In many parts of Europe, this festivity brings with it chilly weather and gloomy skies. However, on the Canary Islands, where the climate is often hailed as the “best in the world,” you can expect pleasant temperatures exceeding 20 degrees Celsius and abundant sunshine even in late October. But that’s not all – the Canary Islands infuse their own unique traditions and festivities into Halloween, making it a truly special experience.

Canary Islands: spooky customs and festivities

Halloween in the Canary Islands: sunshine, sea, and spooky delights

Halloween holds a special place in the annual party calendar of the Canary Islands. Locals embrace the spirit of the holiday by donning their spookiest costumes, adorning houses, parks, and shop windows with eerie decorations, and hosting lively parades across the islands.

One of the standout customs is the traditional egg-throwing, a practice believed to drive away wandering spirits. Additionally, each island has its own unique traditions to mark the evening before All Saints’ Day.

Unique Halloween Celebrations on the Canary Islands

El Día de los Finados: the Canarian equivalent of Halloween

In the Canary Islands, Halloween isn’t the only spooky celebration on the calendar. They also have their own unique tradition known as “El Día de los Finados,” or “El Día de los Finaos,” which is somewhat akin to Halloween. This Canarian holiday, which typically takes place on November 1st (All Saints’ Day), involves paying tribute to deceased loved ones with family gatherings, feasting, and visits to cemeteries to honor those who have passed away.

It’s a time to remember and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us, adding a heartfelt and cultural touch to the spooky season in the Canary Islands.

La Palma’s “Llanoween”

In the community of Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, the annual “Llanoween” festival on October 31st is a highlight. Dressed-up artists, including stilt-walkers, dancers, and jugglers, delight visitors with meticulously choreographed performances, especially thrilling the younger attendees. A specially constructed ghost train adds an extra dose of spookiness to this small town of 20,000 inhabitants.

Tenerife’s spirited celebration

In the town of Arona, Tenerife, Halloween festivities kick off several days before October 31st. Numerous bars and nightclubs serve unique spooky drinks, while revelers don costumes that perfectly match the eerie decorations. In the municipality of El Sauzal, a classic Halloween hike up Ravelo Mountain is a must-do.

Gran Canaria’s haunting delights

In the historic district of Vegueta in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, the play “Don Juan Tenorio” is traditionally staged on picturesque cobblestone streets. Island shopping malls and centers surprise young visitors with Halloween-themed activities. In the south of Gran Canaria, towns like San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Mogán host Halloween celebrations in discos and pubs. Playa de Ingles, a well-known stronghold of the LGBTQ community, hosts scary concerts and parties, with numerous local hotels and clubs inviting guests to turn the night before Christmas Eve into day.

Lanzarote’s coastal halloween

Halloween enthusiasts on Lanzarote can choose between Playa Honda and Playa Blanca. During the day, both beaches offer ample opportunities for diving, surfing, and fun in the sun. In the evening, visitors can look forward to spooky programs featuring concerts and performances.

Starry legends and celestial mysteries

A local legend in the Canary Islands suggests that the stars align in a special way on Halloween, bringing the dead back to life as wandering spirits. While the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands hasn’t confirmed this ghostly tale, scientists have identified celestial bodies that resemble characters from horror stories. The Ghost Head Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, for instance, bears a striking resemblance to a ghost shrouded in a sheet.

Whether you’re intrigued by ancient myths or seeking a lively Halloween celebration against a sunny backdrop, the Canary Islands offer a thrilling escape from the ordinary. With their unique blend of traditions, sunny weather, and beautiful beaches, the islands provide the perfect setting for a Halloween getaway that combines spooky fun with a tropical paradise. So why not trade in the gloomy for the sunny and embark on a Halloween adventure like no other in the Canary Islands?

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