Fusion of Cultures
Halloween in Tenerife is a fascinating celebration where different cultures and traditions come together. This unique blend of ancient pagan rituals, Catholic holidays, and local Canarian customs makes it a captivating event.
But where exactly are the origins? It's hard to say because there's a variant in nearly every culture around the world.
One thing all these commemorative festivals have in common: it's believed that on the day of the celebration, the deceased temporarily return from the realm of the dead.
In the Canary Islands, between October 31 and November 2, Los Finados (the Deceased) is celebrated.
Families flock to cemeteries to place candles, lay flowers, clean graves, and reminisce about deceased family or friends.
Although the thought of deceased loved ones is a somber subject, the emphasis of Los Finados is on celebrating life. Amidst the enjoyment of sweet wine and treats like roasted chestnuts, almonds, and figs, beautiful memories and anecdotes are shared. This way, deceased friends and family, even if just in thought, are with us once more.
Trick or Treat the Canarian Way
Not entirely different from the current commercialized version of Halloween, in Canarian culture, it's customary for children to go to their neighbors with little baskets and ask, "¿Hay Santitos?" which translates to "Are there Saints?" If the answer is yes, the children receive sweets.
Cemeteries in Tenerife
While we're on the subject of cemeteries for a moment, you might be wondering what they look like in Tenerife.
Because the soil of Tenerife consists mainly of hard rock, it is not possible in many places to bury the deceased in the ground. That is why in most cemeteries you will find a kind of stacking of niches, which is a bit reminiscent of a miniature apartment building. The coffin is slid into the niche and it is then bricked up.
This brings us to the end of this eerie journey of discovery from sunny and cheerful Tenerife.
Happy Halloween and ¡Hasta Pronto!
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