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Los Finaos VS Halloween: two celebrations to remind those who are no longer with us

Los Finaos VS Halloween: two celebrations to remind those who are no longer with us

Canary Tradition La Noche de Los Finaos is being restored for a period of time before due to plenty local associations and councils from the island are performing and broadcasting this event and many other traditions lost in time.

The word Finao means “dead person” or “corpse”. Is a popular celebration which takes place every 1st of November. 

The young people took a bag and they visited their neighbors asking for “los santos”.

– They knocked on the door and they asked:  Is there any santo?

– If the owner said yes, they would give them almonds, nuts, figs or water chestnuts.

During the afternoon, the oldest people from the family used to remind the dead relatives, los finaos, those who had reached the end of their lives. The mother or the grandmother told some stories and anecdotes from their dead relatives to make them eternal to their families. Meanwhile, an afternoon snack was shared based on water chestnuts, honey and almonds, accompanied by a sweet wine, honey run or anise. 

Afterward, Fina’s Dance was celebrated. Every person from the village used to sing and dance malagueñas with Ranchos de Ánimas, honey rum and the grilled chestnuts added a light of happiness to this celebration.

Santa Brígida, San Mateo and Vegueta have become the places where these events are being celebrated to remind those who are no longer with us.

In this way, many people who avoid witch costumes, pumpkin and spiderwebs have an alternative to celebrate this day and not HALLOWEEN.

In the V century B.C, in the Celtic Ireland, the 31st of October the Samhain Festival was celebrated, which commemorated the end of summer and the beginning of a new year. During the nightfall, the dead’s event used to take place, they said that spirits went out to the Earth and they walked before the living. To pacify these souls, giant bonfires were made and druids put spells on them. They said during this night magic and spells were stronger than any other night of the year.

When romans conquered the Celtics, part of this celebration was adapted by the Cristians from the Roman Empire. In the IV Century A.C. christianism tried to finish any pagan celebration and every old religion. 

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But Celtic people refused to abandon their costumes so the Cristian Institutions changed the name of the celebration from Samhain to All Hallow Eve, it was converted to a Christian cult to respect the religious martyrs.

In the VII century, the christianism religion celebrated All Saint’s Day in May, but people celebrated the day of the dead on the 31st of October so the celebration was changed to the 1st of November.

Throughout the history, paganism and cristianism has been mixed when celebrating this party. Nowadays this celebration consists of going to every house claiming candies to prevent any prank, children dress up as warlocks, demons, monsters, vampires… Usually they carry bags with pumpkins, black cats motives…

In the USA parades are celebrated where kids march on the streets with their costumes. Most famous parades are celebrated in San Francisco and New York.

In Spain, this celebration is not celebrated, there is only solemnity during the celebration for the deceased. But little by little, in the big cities Halloween is being celebrated in many parties and bars. In addition the children due to their love to terror films have made this party a Freak Carnival.

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