Halloween in France

A window at a bar in Paris that you wouldn’t have seen years ago.

They really don’t get Halloween in France, from what I can see. Americans have made this holiday, like Thanksgiving, completely their own. I’ve been asked by several French people exactly what we do on Halloween and what makes it so great. I tell of the excitement of picking out a costume as a child, filling bags with candy as we go trick or treating and the French seem a little puzzled by it all. They do now get little costumes for their children but even if they went door to door yelling, “Trick or Treat”, I doubt that they would get much in the way of candy. They are starting to have parties where everyone dresses up and in the Marais you can usually find people walking around in costumes and celebrating, although not with candy. The shops have discovered that it can be another way to make money, so now sell cute ceramic pumpkins, and the like, and there is Halloween style candy now seen in windows.
What the French do, and I’m sure most other Catholic countries, is celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st. In fact, florists sell more flowers on this day than any other. It is the custom to take flowers to the graves of departed friends and relatives on that day. May families even make it a sort of party and you can see little picnics going on in various cemetaries. I went with Maurice one year to clean his mother’s grave and leave the usual mums. I like to visit a few cemetaries around Paris just to see all of the flowers left.

A view of some great stairs I saw the other day.

I took a photo of this paste up grafitti because it looks like my cat, Elliot.