Halloween and La Toussaint


When we lived in London we always spent Halloween with family. The kids would dress up, the party food would be laid out, the cobwebs would be put in the corners rather than hoovered up, and the scary mask would be ready by the door to give those who came trick or treating a fright. The kids would play games like eating a donut off a piece of string and bobbing for apples, and the dads would take them round the neighbourhood to trick or treat. This year in France we were lucky enough to have family here as my mum and dad are here for half term, so I planned a Halloween Family Feast!


We had snails and mummies (sausages wrapped in croissant dough) for appetisers followed by witches brew soup which was a brilliant shade of green. Ruben wouldn't go anywhere near the snails and Jacob thought the soup was yucky. Though he did drink it all up so I think he may be slightly confused between 'yucky' and 'yummy'! We had pumpkin and green bean Thai green curry for our main and a pumpkin cake for dessert. It was all delicious and I spent most of the day preparing it. The meal didn't go quite according to plan as Andrew ran into car trouble on the way home from work so he missed the starter and the kids ended up eating their main before us, but c'est la vie! We had one set of trick or treaters and we were prepared with a large bowl of sweets. We didn't take the boys out but they dressed up in their spider costumes and my mum did a treasure hunt in the dark for sweeties, which Reuben loved and Jacob wasn't quite so sure of.


The day after Halloween in France is La Toussaint, All Saints Day. This is a day for remembering those that have passed away. The churches hold services and people visit and place flowers on the graves of family and friends. Chrysanthemums are the flower of choice to lay which is why if you're visiting a French person you should never give chrysanthemums as a gift. We've not really explained to Reuben too much about death yet. He doesn't know anyone close to him that has yet passed away and we've never had any pets (other than our fish who is still alive and well in London) though he does know how to 'dead' a mosquito. It's something we will explore as he gets older and I think it would be good if we also spent La Toussaint as a day to remember. Lighting a candle is often a simple way of keeping the spirit of those who have gone alive in our memories.

We hope you all had a fun Halloween! Do let us know your thoughts on teaching children about La Toussaint and other similar days.

Becky x

Like our Facebook page to see more pictures of the day in our Halloween album

2 comments

  1. Sounds like you had a nice Halloween. Were you able to tell if any French families around you celebrated at all? I'm just curious - In Bordeaux it seems to be slowly catching on. Have a good week & glad to see you on Multicultural Kids Blogs!

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  2. Hi Jennifer, It was good fun! As we're in a small village it was hard to tell if many other people were celebrating. We only had the one set of trick or treaters come round, but there have been decorations in shops and a very small section of costumes for sale in our nearest large supermarket. There did seem to be quite a few evening Halloween parties in nearby towns in their salles des fetes, and daytime activities (facepainting, crafts etc) for kids. We'll have to explore them a bit more next year. Hope you have a good week too!

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