I always think of Halloween as a joyous time of year when children and adults dress in the most scary and outlandish costumes in order to walk the streets with their parents and carrying a carved pumpkin, ‘trick or treating’, or going to Halloween parties. It is good to know that the custom is also followed in our corner of France. The last day of October is the date to look forward to.
Pumpkins growing outside of one of the gorgeous homes in Daglan.
In France they have an ‘All Saints Day’ (La Toussaint) on the 1st November, which is an annual national public holiday and post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. You will find the cemetery’s of towns and villages crowded with people as families pay their respects (with chrysanthemums) to loved ones who have passed away.
In this photograph you can see a typical cemetery with family tombs, often ornate and exquisitely carved with many decorations. Some of the tombs and gravestones have a picture of the deceased and a poem or symbol of their carreer or interests they once had. I find cemetery’s fascinating, you learn a real social history from them.
Candles are lit in the tombs or on the gravestones on ‘All Saints Day’
A word of warning. Chrysanthemums in France are placed onto gravestones they are flowers for the dead, funerals and grief. So do not take them as a gift to a friends house when you are invited for dinner, this is a very big faux pas. Carnations express ‘bad will’ to the person: and roses are reserved only for the one that you love. In fact flowers are not really a good idea at all, local customs differ from region to region, even village to village and it is so easy to get it wrong.
Nothing to do with Halloween but here’s a couple of photos to make you smile.
I could just eat these grapes.
These peppers where growing outside ‘Fabrice le Chef’ food boutique in Daglan, a gorgeous shop full of excellent food to taste and buy.