They don’t do Halloween in France.
It is vaguely acknowledged that it is a holiday, but more in the sense that it is the day before Toussaints (All Saint’s Day), which is TOTALLY celebrated, as a sort of remembrance day. I rode my bike past the cemetery yesterday and they were unloading a flatbed truck of chrysanthemums, which are the traditional flower in France for funerals and the dead. It’s a national holiday, and people visit the graves of their family; and chrysanthemums are THE flower for this. They’re really associated with death.
Meaning: don’t give one as a gift for ANY OTHER reason. It’s kind of hugely offensive. 😉 (You know, “Say it with flowers”? GIving a chrysanthemum is the equivalent of saying “Drop dead”.)
Want to know how to actually say ” Drop dead” in French? Try: Fous le camps et morte. It’s actually really rude, so on second thought – don’t. 😉 I had to look up a page of French insults to find that out, so I now know a lot more useful phrases. Baby steps, people!
Incidentally, my favorite insult on this page is; “Vous êtes une pomme de terre avec le visage d’un cochon d’inde” – You are a potato with the face of a guinea pig.
Meanwhile: back in Halloween-land. Which I’m not, but wanting to celebrate anyway. 🙂 Unfortunately, I have a feeling that if I dress in costume and start knocking on people’s doors in the village, I’m going to get arrested. So, we’ll have to think of something else.
Noooo! Not that either. I did try to find a pumpkin (found some, but more the “I’m-Really-A-Squash” variety, not the “I-Have Smooth-Skin-and-Am-the-Right-Size-For-Stabbing” variety. ) They don’t have candy corn, or creepy novelty candy. There isn’t glitter facepaint or temporary hair dye by the checkout counter, or fake cobwebs decorating people’s front porches. It’s such a THING in the U.S that I’m kind of sad that I don’t get to do it really this year.
Instead, I’m thinking I’m going to download some creepy movies, light a fire, and roast pumpkin seeds. (I mean, the pumpkins they had in the store are FINE for that, and I can make soup with the rest. Pumpkin soup and roasted seeds and good toasted bread and maybe something with apples? For dessert?)
Also now that I know, next year I am totally stocking up. Bags of candy corn and masks from the U.S and Indian corn and whatever I can think of. Costumes. They do a thing at the French American Center here, a little soirée for Halloween (It really is an American holiday these days) but it’s for kids…so next year maybe I can participate? With the little shrimp-who-will-no-longer-be-a-shrimp-but-a-real-person? Kind of a nice idea. 🙂
Anyway: Happy Halloween everyone!! In honor of the holiday, here are the absolute WORST bits of dialogue from the Ed Wood classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space. And then the chainsaw-arm scene, from Evil Dead 2. Just…you know. Because.