Does France celebrate Halloween?

While the influence of American sitcoms and culture means that in some big cities some children might go from door to door to ask for sweets (des bonbons) there will be no tricks (pas de mauvais tours), and the majority of children will stay home.

There is a bank holiday on 1st November called La Toussaint, all saints’ day. People of Catholic faith or descent will take the opportunity to bring Chrysanthemums (les chrysanthèmes) to cemeteries and pay their respect to their dead loved ones.

However, a growing number of English teachers seem to take the opportunity of Halloween to promote their pupils’ learning and organise Halloween themed little plays, discos and craft. And of course, supermarkets will use the opportunity to sell costumes and decorations.

Here is a bit of vocabulary to help you should you spend Halloween with French speakers, or if  you simply are a fan of spooky films:

Un fantôme – a ghost
Un vampire – a vampire
Une sorcière – a witch
Une chauve-souris – a bat
Une araignée – a spider
Une toile d’araignée – a spider web
Un squelette – a skeleton
Une momie – a mummy
Un chat noir – a black cat
Une citrouille – a pumpkin
Un loup-garou – a werewolf

It’s not scary at all to learn French with Alliance Française de Bristol and Bath, even for our French Drama Workshop starting this Tuesday 1st November (there are still a few spaces)!