Thursday, 1 November 2012

La Touissant, All Saint's Day

We had some Trick or Treaters knock on our door last night - which was a big surprise. Halloween in France isn't a French holiday and it is mostly seen as a new, American idea. Over the last couple of years supermarket chains have been stocking Halloween sweets and fancy dress and a few of the international brands like Macdonalds and Apple use Halloween motifs in their marketing. But it is refreshing to see that not everyone is "taken in" by commercialism. In fact the French have been celebrating the original idea of Halloween, respect for the dead, for centuries. The 1st November, La Touissant, All Saints Day, is a public holiday and it is the tradition for families to go together to visit deceased relatives and place chrysanthemums on their graves. The markets and flower shops are full of chrysanthemums in every colour - but don't be tempted to give them as a gift - here in France they are associated with death.

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