|Tourist Info > Festivals, events and traditions|
this section :
The rich and varied historical heritage of (...)
Carnival Time in France Youpi, (...)
Fete de l’Ours et carnaval de Prats de (...)
Fete de la Belle Epoque The "Belle Epoque" (...)
Fete de la Musique - June Every year (...)
September Fete de Mailly - Port Vendres (...)
Fete de Mailly - Port Vendres September In (...)
Feux de la Saint Jean
In the fifth (...)
LA CASTANYADA 1st November Here in (...)
Pancake Day in France 2nd February (...)
La Fête des Rois (Three Kings Day) The (...)
La Toussaint (All Saints Day) - Festival of (...)
La Trobada La Trobada du Canigou A (...)
Lundi de Pentecôte (Whit Monday) in France (...)
Midsummer Madness - Els Focs de la Sant Jean (...)
Pessebres vivants .... real people acting (...)
International dog team racing The (...)
November 25th La Sainte Catherine (...)
December The AFM Telethon (l’Association
The Canigou race - Vernet-les-Bains At (...)
La Toussaint (All Saints Day) - Festival of the dead.
La Toussaint in France (All Saint’s Day) was originally created by the Catholic Church to honour the poor old saints and martyrs who didn’t have their own holy day.
Rather sneakily, it was also believed to be an attempt by the church to detract attention from the Celtic, Pagan celebration of Samhain, (pronounced sow-in), born in the British Isles, later to become Halloween. The festival celebrated the end of the bright, warm days of summer and the beginning of the cold dark nights of winter, when spirits were supposed to rise from the dead - none too Catholic for the conrolling church..
However, it was too late! Ghost, ghoulie and evil beastie celebrations had already caught on and Halloween soon became a yearly festival of masks and disguises to scare away the spooks and evil spirits.
Halloween in France however, has only recently become fashionable thanks (?) to films and American sit coms, McDo etc, all of which have given French children a taste for dressing up and ‘trick and treating’ (originally the poor used to go door to door receiving food in return for prayers for the dead.)
Cemeteries are busy this weekend of remembrance and chrysanthemums are on sale on every street. Don’t offer them to your hostess when invited out for dinner! They are for the dead
TRICK OR TREAT?
‘Des bonbons ou une farce’ is one way to beg for sweeties on Hallo’eve, ‘friandises ou bêtises’ is another, but as there is no literal translation, just about anything goes!