Halloween Quick Facts - FR

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2024 Date31 October 2024
2025 Date31 October 2025


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Halloween History

Halloween is a widely celebrated festival that originally stems from ancient Celtic traditions. The event revolves around the theme of the dead and supernatural beings, involving activities such as trick-or-treating, costume parties, carving pumpkins, and visiting haunted attractions. The main purpose of this festival is to honor and acknowledge deceased loved ones and ancestors. Additionally, it has evolved into a day full of creativity and entertainment, allowing people of all ages to participate in various activities and express themselves uniquely through costumes and decorations.

The observance of Halloween traces its roots back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year. This tradition was then adapted and popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States, eventually spreading to other countries as well. In France, Halloween arrived in the 1990s and initially gained ideas and practices from American pop culture as well as historic Celtic customs. While the celebration is not as deeply rooted in French society, it has gained considerable momentum over the years, especially among young people and businesses looking to capitalize on the festivities.

In comparison to its American counterpart, Halloween in France is observed on a relatively smaller scale. French celebrations primarily focus on costume parties and themed events in nightclubs, bars, and other entertainment venues. Children do participate in trick-or-treating, although this activity is more localized and not as widespread as it is in the United States. Furthermore, Halloween decorations are less commonly seen in public spaces or private homes, resulting in a less immersive atmosphere. The festivities in France generally take place on the same day as the international observance, the 31st of October.

Halloween facts

  • According to Google Trends’ , the top Halloween costumes of 2023 include Barbie, Spiderman, and Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family.
  • In early Celtic celebrations, turnips or other root vegetables were used in place of pumpkins. A burning lump of coal was placed inside the hollowed out vegetable and carried during the festivities.
  • The reception of Halloween in France has been quite controversial. Many French people view it as an unwelcome American import and see it as purely commercial without any cultural value.
  • Children in France do dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. This is known as des bonbons ou un sort which translates to candy or a spell.

Top things to do in France for Halloween

  • Dress up in your favorite costume.
  • Go trick-or-treating.
  • Experiment in the kitchen and prepare some Halloween-themed snacks or treats. Bake cookies shaped like ghosts, witches' fingers, or pumpkin-shaped cupcakes. You can find various recipes online for inspiration.
  • Gather around with your family or friends and share ghost stories or urban legends. Dim the lights, light some candles, and create a spooky atmosphere while taking turns telling scary tales.

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