The 31st of October has long been celebrated here in The Canary Islands. A most traditional celebration where families gather and tell each other stories of family members long departed, ancestors of note, parents, grandparents and the occasional spooky ghost story. Of course US influences have seeped in over recent years, but the more traditional Canarians have always seen this as a great opportunity to reconnect with the past and munch on sweet chestnuts, freshly roasted over open fires, as each community gathers together to celebrate mid autumn and remember their dead.
Whether its the christian Fiesta de Todos los Santos, the more pagan Halloween from which it comes, All Saints eve, All Hallows’ Eve, the Canarian Noche de Finaos, which lead to the Mexican Day of the Dead or simply the Fiesta de la Castaña (the chestnut) there are plenty of seasonal celebrations going on this Thursday night all around Gran Canaria, and on into the weekend. These days it’s a mix of traditions and commercial activities here and if it encourages a night out, many bars and restaurants will do their best to entertain and to frighten so dressing up is ALWAYS encouraged!
Friday, 1st of November is also a National bank holiday throughout Spain so it will also mean another “puente” (a “bridge”) weekend is coming up. Government buildings, offices and banks will be closed, including some of the Shopping centres and stores, so good idea to double check the opening hours before planning a shopping trip.
On Thursday 31 October at the Plaza Pérez Galdós ( Arguineguin) “Noche de Finaos” – an event organised by the town hall with roasted chestnuts, traditional games, children’s workshops, folk music and dance performances, from 19:00 to around 23:00.
In Playa de Mogán the town hall has Halloween-Finaos celebrations at Plaza Dr. Pedro Betancor 17:30-20:30 with roasted chestnuts and workshops for children. Don’t forget to dress up!
Shopping Centre Puerto Rico will have a Halloween themed stand in the main passageway with lots of activities for all ages from 18:00 to 22:00, and the list of places for you to party and have a great night out is endless.
Angry Birds Activity park in Puerto Rico celebrate their 6th Anniversary as ever in Halloween style. On Thursday from 16:00-22:00 a special celebration with costume party and many surprises (resident prices are available)
SAN BARTOLOMÉ DE TIRAJANA
– (INCLUDING MASPALOMAS AND PLAYA DEL INGLÉS)
“Noche de Finaos”- festivities organised by the Town Hall : Thursday 31 October:
El Tablero : Plaza de Pepe de Barbero starting at 20:00
Aldea Blanda : Plaza del pueblo at 21:00
Tunte : Plaza de Santiago de Tunte at 19:00
Centro Cultural Maspalomas at 20:30
Tipsy Hammock cocktail bar & Restaurant
Thursday 31 October: It’s that spooky time of the year, time for ghosts & monsters we fear. They start the party at 20:30, wear your scariest costume and a reservation might be a good idea ’cause its going to get busy!
The newly renovated leisure centre celebrate the Halloween atmosphere until November 3rd with Live Music Shows, a Tasting club experience, Halloween animation in the centre, Activities for all ages, special offers and many more surprises.
LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
the historic centre celebrates the Noche de Finaos with a parade of folk groups from San Telmo to Vegueta at 20:00 on Calle Botas. There is performances and roasted chestnuts and corn.
Don Juan Tenorio
The Traditional and classic performance at Plaza de Santa Ana on Thursday at 21:00.
Don Juan Tenorio will be represented by 2RC, a company celebrating its fifteenth anniversary. The proposal, accompanied by Music comes from the hand of the Orchestra Atlántico, under the baton of the teacher Isabel Costes.
You can also spot dancers from the Mojo Swing Festival in Vegueta around 19:00
Thursday 31 October between 17:30-20:30 monsters and zombies flood Triana’s Commercial Zone to celebrate Halloween
San Lorenzo : Noche de Finaos, starting at 21:30 at the Plaza. Toasted chestnuts, gararones, gofio, licors, among other typical products of this celebration in the Canary Islands. Performance of various parrandas and folk groups.
Shopping Centre Siete Palmas celebrates a new edition of the “Wine boulevard and night of Finaos” 19:30-23:30. Wine and tapas with €1 and €2, roasted chestnuts, traditional games and also a concert by “Aseres” on Avenida Pintor Felo Monzón, just in front of the centro comercial.
Saint Lucia celebrates the tradition of the finaos on the eve of November 1 with three different activities. The Zafra museum, the Sardina House of Culture and the Tenefé necropolis will be the three spaces where you can live the homage to the dead from different visions
The Museo de la Zafra will host this Thursday, October 31, an open house from 20:00. There will be chestnut, wine and Canarian music from the hand of El Pajullo. Decades ago, especially in the fields, the Canarian families gathered on the night of the finishes around a plate of roasted chestnuts to remember the deceased and pay homage to family and friends who are no longer among us. These meetings were often accompanied by parrandas, street drinks and food.
SANTA MARIA DE GUÍA
Chestnut Festival, a celebration that takes place every year in the Plaza de Las Huertas and with roasted chestnuts as the tradition marks on the eve of All Saints Day.
Starting at 17:00, the chestnut roasting will begin, which can then be tasted by all attendees with a delicious chocolate and a glass of anise. Also various activities related to the Anglo-Saxon Halloween tradition. This year, for the first time, Plaza de Las Huertas will host a ‘Terrifying Tunnel’. There will be a costume contest, a “Terrifying Photocall” as a souvenir of the night, live music and workshops for the little ones.
San Mateo celebrates the tradition of the night of the finaos, starting at 20:00 in Plaza del Mercado – Los Gofiones. The Parrandas of Global and Buchito de Café will perform and attendees can taste chestnuts, nuts, anise.
Santa Brígida prepares for their 20th “Night of the Finaos”, a popular holiday celebrated on the eve of All Saints in town. As tradition dictates, participants can enjoy the performance of various parrandas and folk groups, on a day in which more than 500 kilos of chestnuts, nuts, apples, anise and typical pastries will be prepared for tasting. Starting at 21:00 and this year on Calle Real, in the historic center of the city.
VALSEQUILLO – Tenteniguada
The wonderfully authentic little mountain village of Tenteniguada, in the heights of the municipality of Valsequillo, is surrounded by chestnut trees and at this time of year the locals all have great fun harvesting this seasonal delight in time for the “Finao Popular” which sees all the villages in traditional clothing, playing music, dancing and roasting chestnuts and maize as well as a range of other local dishes. All washed down with a fortifying glass of local wine or anís.
If you are of the opinion that Gran Canaria is just one long summertime, you’ve clearly never been up to the northern mountains at this time of year where autumn is in full swing and the warmly wrapped locals will be celebrating on Thursday night with a traditional family gathering in honour of Finaos.
Certainly well worth the 30 minute drive up from Telde!