We knew before arriving in France that there would be some major cultural differences when it came to certain traditions and holidays. We weren’t expecting much of anything for Hallowe’en, and we’d warned the kids to be ready for a quiet one. Keeping in mind that Hallowe’en is one of their very favourite days of the year, we tried to keep it fun, but without expectation in order to avoid any major disappointment!
However, the commercialized culture of Hallowe’en has definitely started creeping it’s way in to France, and we started seeing evidence of decorations and costumes about midway through October. One thing we did know of Hallowe’en over here, was that the costumes weren’t going to be a lot of characters or pop culture personalities like back home, but rather sticking to the creepy, ghoulish, and scary side of things. Love it!
We tucked a few of our favourite holiday books into our suitcases for the year, and among them was our Hallowe’en fave, “The Haunted House that Jack Built”. If you don’t have it in your collection, I highly recommend it. Danica found the perfect inspiration within it’s pages.
Oliver immediately picked out what he calls a “Scream”, based on the creepy mask from the 90s movie. He was stoked, because back home I never buy pre-made costumes. It was like a dream come true ;P
Come the 31st, we still weren’t quite sure what to expect in our little town. A couple of shops and restaurants put up decorations the day before. As we live in the “hyper centre” of town (as small as it is!) there aren’t a tonne of houses right near us, but those that are here weren’t decorated at all! We asked around a little bit, and learned that some people will participate in Hallowe’en, and some won’t. The only way of knowing was to knock on doors!
However, as the afternoon wore on, we did see a handful of kids dressed up and trick or treating at the local businesses, so we decided that would be our plan. Off we went, and the majority of shop owners were happy to see our kids coming through their doors in full creepy getups! There were a few who frowned and dismissed them with nothing, but for the most part, they were greeted with big smiles and a bowl of candy. We did knock at one house, and after being (kindly) told by the homeowner that they didn’t participate in Hallowe’en, the kids decided to stick to the businesses.
Considering we’d been prepared for nothing, the kids were quite happy to find themselves with a decent little bag of treats by the end of the night. The candy was different than what they usually collect at home. Mostly small wrapped hard candies or chewy malabars, as opposed to hordes of mini chocolate bars.
I was in photo heaven, as the backdrop really couldn’t be beat. I mean, could there be a more perfect setting for my two creepy ghouls to wander than centuries-old stone doorways in rampart walls? I think not.