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Halloween in France differs from the celebration we know in english-speaking countries. This however, does not mean you can’t have your fun if you celebrate the holiday. Traditionally on the 31st October, children and adults dress up to enjoy the celebrations, either at parties or trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood.
What do the French think about Halloween?
When you visit or live in France, you may be surprised as Halloween is not celebrated as extravagantly as you might see in cult classics like Hocus Pocus. So what can I do in France for Halloween, you may ask? Halloween to many is a commercial holiday, considered too American or kitsch to be practised in France. La Toussaint, however, takes place the day after Halloween and is widely celebrated. Because of this, Halloween tends to be overshadowed and not given a lot of attention.
Despite not being tradition, the French attitude towards Halloween is in fact changing. You may now see for example certain houses decorated for the holiday, as well as children wandering the streets dressed up with their parents. Admittedly this does not compare to the American equivalent. Do not let that put you off though, as towns often organise themed events in which you can participate. Check-out the Halloween Party in Morzine at the place de l’office du tourisme. Starting at 16h30 on the 31st, you and your children can enjoy pumpkin carving and even a competition for the scariest one!Halloween in French
In preparation for the holiday, why not learn some interesting vocabulary to boost your french? Here is a short list of everything you may need to know.
Haunted house-une maison hantée
La Toussaint and All Saint’s Day
All Saint’s Day in France marks the halfway point between Summer and Christmas. It is the day where French people visit cemeteries and lay flowers to honour their dead loved ones and special events take place. This holiday also coincides with a 2 week school break! In comparison to Halloween, this day has enormous significance in France and is celebrated by the majority.
Whatever your beliefs and preferences are, there is no right or wrong way to celebrate the autumn holidays. Do not let the aversion to american holidays ruin your favourite time of the year, and maybe the next day meet with your family and friends to commemorate those no longer with us.
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