French La Toussaint: A fall celebration
Halloween has a long convoluted history of the tradition evolving quite a bit until it reached the commercial holiday it is today. The traditions date back to many catholic and pagan holidays as much as many countries like France and Mexico prefer to ignore that fact. La Toussaint or All Saints day is celebrated instead on November 1st which is a public holiday and the next being Le jour des morts. I’m no expert on the subject but below is a great video that has the history of this holiday which has subtitles and a translation so its easy to follow.
As mentioned in France Halloween is rising slowly in popularity but like in Mexico it is not seen as something good that its happening despite the fact that all traditions change over time. Halloween is more common in Canada with it having a much larger influence by the US and likely all these french halloween songs were made in Quebec. Unlike Dia de Muertos in Mexico La Toussaint isn’t really such a holiday where the dead are celebrated in a way to show the appreciation of those who’ve left us but instead a more traditional way of honoring the dead. Which is better is really up to the person I guess.
I asked my French teacher what her thoughts on Halloween where and they mostly backed up with whatever you can find about Halloween in France on the internet which is that it’s not really celebrated since they have La Toussaint but you see more and more things about it nowadays. Halloween is used in Mexico to promote interest in learning English so it doesn’t surprise me that apparently the same is done in France.
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