You might be wondering what Halloween is, its history and exactly how it is celebrated in France. Well, the answers are right here in this article.
Studies show that Halloween was first celebrated in Britain as Samhain celebration of the Pagan Celtic. During this celebration, the pagans believed that the dead rose and their spirits walked among the living. For this reason, the pagans especially the Celtics, left food on their door steps to invite good spirits and then scare off bad spirits by wearing scary masks.
After the Romans invaded England in the 15th century, they also added a few of their tradition such honoring the dead people in celebrating Halloween. Later on when the Roman Catholic Church was established in England, the church tried to establish another ceremony to lure the pagans from celebrating Halloween but it did not work. In the year 1840, Halloween came to USA and it developed over time what it is known as today.
So how then did Halloween find its way to France?
Studies show that the Celtics people residing in Northern part of France also celebrated Halloween during the Samhain celebration. However, it ought to be noted that Halloween is not a French tradition but it is still celebrated.
France started celebrating Halloween as late as 1982; they have been hearing news about Halloween from tourist who celebrated it while in the country. During those years, it was hard to explain to each customer what Halloween was about, but now days, no questions are asked as the French people have grasped the concept behind Halloween.
The French people of all ages celebrate Halloween in France by wearing costumes and then visiting their friends for parties at clubs, restaurants or bars.
The costumes that the people wear is usually scary like mummies, vampires, witches, goblins. This is derived from the Samhain traditions of the Celtics. The other thing that is more common with French people is the trick or treating which unlike in the United States where people go house to house, the French go from shop to shop. It is usually done by children as the celebration is normally dated during the school holidays and midterm breaks.
The offices, homes, offices, malls, restaurants and malls decorate their windows while others make dessert and place them on their doorstep. Supermarkets are well-known for selling pumpkin lanterns which can be used for trick or treating. The demand for pumpkin has grown so much such that pumpkin growers are experiencing a boost for their products during the Halloween season. Infact, there is a big farm just outside of Paris which grows a lot of pumpkins that people can pick.
It is important to note that Halloween in France is somewhat controversial due to the fact that a lot of them do not consider it as their culture. As such they do not see the point of celebrating it. Infact the presence of Halloween in France is majorly attributed to corporate and media influence. Infact most people who do not celebrate it, see it as an American celebration and even go ahead and incorporate it in their anti-American boycott.
In conclusion, it is too early to see if the tradition will develop in to a French tradition. Many people are considering it as just another fad which will even in time. Quite contradicting is the fact that the French people have been celebrating and honoring the dead (Toussaint) for many centuries. The celebrating of the dead is what the Celtics and Romans refer to as Halloween. Basically, the French celebrate Halloween even if they do not want to admit it.