Some of the earliest Halloween traditions started in Europe, and indeed Halloween was born in nearby U.K., yet it was seen as primarily an American holiday with little or no fanfare with the French until recently. Now, Halloween is seeing a resurgence in popularity.
This renewed passion for all things pumpkin is quite recent. Just a few years ago, mention of Halloween was quite rare.
Now, chocolateries prepare delicate creations for the event. Children dress up, although you don't see nearly the vast diversity of costumes there that you see in America (ghosts and vampires are quite common).
Teens swarm McDonald's, apparently the mecca of all things Halloween (i.e. American). Disneyland Paris also has a Halloween celebration for visitors.
What has been taken seriously and has strong roots in French tradition is All Saint's Day, or November 1, or (to Americans) the Day We Feel Sick From All That Candy We Devoured On Halloween.
On All Saint's Day, which dates back at least to the seventh century, the French honor the dead. It is a wonderful day to visit cemeteries, where tombs are lavishly decorated with flowers and personal items.
If you plan to visit, your best bets for finding Halloween events are visits to big cities like Paris and Nice. Also keep in mind that November 1 is a major national holiday, and many spots will be closed in its honor.
There are also some Halloween and All Saint's Day events planned:
Ok, so this is a little early for Halloween, but what could be more trick-or-treat-esque than the annual [url="http://us.franceguide.com/thematiques/fetemanifs/fiche.asp?z1=LTErJMUd&idm=27271"]Witch Festival[/email] (Fte des Sorcires) in Chalindrey on October 29 and 30.[url="http://gofrance.about.com/cs/parisforkids/a/disneyland.htm"]Disneyland Paris[/email] puts on a major Halloween party, with Main Street USA turning into Spooky Street.Chateau De La Roche Guyon, about 50 minutes outside Paris, where visitors can get spooked and scared in a chateau dating back to the seventh century. For more information, call 033 01 34 79 74 42 or send e-mail to [email protected].Halloween in Limoges, where this village attracts 30,000 to 50,000 people to its October 31 annual street shows, story telling and events organised by associations, town centre merchants, and the city of Limoges. For more information, call 033 05 55 34 46 87 or send e-mail to [email protected].