What’s it really like celebrating Halloween in France?
One of the many reasons we chose to move to the beautiful Charente countryside was that we saw life as less ‘commercial’ than in the UK. We wanted to get away from the whole ‘Easter eggs are on the shelves in January’ thing and to stop being as driven by consumerism.
This ideal versus reality really hit home when we first moved here, as it was VERY different for our children! They had been used to Halloween events at our local community centre, discos, apple bobbing, fancy dress, the works!
We couldn’t find a Halloween Party anywhere or very much Halloween paraphernalia in those days.
Luckily, we heard of a lady running an ‘English’ bar who was doing pumpkin carving and a few activities for the children. What was initially a bit of an adjustment, we have grown to like. Halloween in France is simple and family-based.
However, things are changing!
Celebrating Halloween in France
These days, out-of-town shopping centres stock Halloween goods and local towns now offer Halloween activities. For example, in our nearby town of Aigre 16140, there is a costume parade in the town centre, rewarded by sweets given by the shopkeepers and an evening meal in the Salle des Fetes.
Being conscious of our impact on our environment, we try to buy less plastics and go home-made for a re-use, recycle ethos where we can. Pumpkins and squashes are in abundance, so we always have a display and the children carve them with their friends.
We host our own party which involves an array of home-baked ‘spooky’ food and games. Why not share a few British traditions with your French friends and neighbours, too!
Halloween in France : Vocabulary cheat sheet
Halloween is a great opportunity to learn some new French vocabulary – here are some essentials!
costume un déguisement
bat une chauve-souris
black cat un chat noir
devil un diable
ghost un fantôme
Grim Reaper la Faucheuse
monster un monstre
mummy une momie
scarecrow un épouvantail
skeleton un squelette
spider une araignée
vampire un vampire
werewolf un loup-garou
witch une sorcière
witch’s hat un chapeau de sorcière, un chapeau pointu
zombie un zombie
And remember, we don’t ask for a TRICK or a TREAT in France, we ask for sweets or a spell:
« Des bon-bons ou un sort ! »
Local Life in France
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