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Taking French Halloween Inside

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments · France

This is Year 3 of living in a small town in the south of France.

Our first October here, a local resident assured us that Halloween is not a “thing” in this part of the country. Further north in France, but not here. Not really. “Not part of our culture.”

And then at least 20 kids found our front door and rang our bell, and we scrounged up enough stuff to take care of them all.

A year ago, we were in Seville, Spain … and they seemed to celebrate Halloween there.

So, Halloween, not so weird, here in western Europe, and we bought candy this time, to be ready.

And then we found out the town had decided to regularize Halloween and the trick-or-treating, which features demands/threats just like in the States, except tweaked a little. Instead of “trick or treat” it is “des bonbons ou des Sorts!” — Candy or a spell!”).

The plan.

Kids who wanted to dress up and get candy would make that preference known (via their parents) to a local committee. Said committee would compile a list of residents willing to hand out candy, and we were on that list. The kids would be led to willing donors, beginning at 3 p.m., and everyone would be off the streets and back home before dark, at 6.

One big problem. It rained on Halloween. Nearly all day. Sometimes it poured.

Organizers scrambled. The tour of the town was called off, info that was announced several times over the town loudspeaker.

Instead, the kids would go to the salle de rencontre — a city meeting room — and the candy donors would meet them there and distribute their stuff.

And … it turns out, a lot of kids (seen in the photo, above) wanted to be involved in the process. Thirty? Forty? Fifty? Not bad, for a town of about 600.

Lots of witches, on the girls side; lots of skeletons, for the boys. The French seem to prefer scarier costumes — grim reapers, too. Maybe those are what are sold in stores? Anyway, not many princesses or DC Comics heroes, over here.

So, Halloween … yes, it’s a thing, here in the south of France, and we can prepare accordingly, and be ready to contribute some Gummi Bears, etc.



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