HALLOWEEN. Halloween takes place this Tuesday, October 31, 2023 in France and around the world. Contrary to what one might believe, this holiday does not come from the United States but from Ireland. Here is everything you need to know about its origins and legends, but also about its disguises, makeup and pumpkins!
[Updated October 30, 2023 at 5:43 p.m.] Why is Halloween celebrated on October 31, All Saints' Eve? This festival of Celtic origin is supposed to be the scariest day of the year, according to a centuries-old tradition. Discover the whole story in our file below, its terrifying legends, its scary disguises and makeup... This file is made to inspire you!
Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31, the eve of the religious holiday of All Saints' Day. Despite the Christianization of the end of October festival, popular traditions remain anchored among the Irish. As a result, when they emigrated en masse to the United States in the 19th century to escape famine, they brought beliefs and celebrations with them. Enough to revive the Halloween party across the Atlantic. And the very name Halloween refers directly to All Saints' Day. It is derived from “All Hallows Eve” or “All Hallows Even”, or the “eve of the holy night”. So the day before November 1st: October 31st.
Its existence is much older and the festival was born not so far from us. Halloween is in fact derived from the celebration of Samhain (Irish name) or Samonios (Gallic name), created by the Celts. This religious festival, led by druids, was held at the end of autumn (at the end of the harvest) and marked the entry into a new year. In Ireland and Gaul, this night of Samhain was feared, during which evil spirits could rage. To avoid this “black” presence and ward off danger, residents lit fires in the open air. This night was also an “in-between time” between the world of the living and the dead. The Celts left their doors open so that their deceased family members could return for a few hours among the living. This tradition died out somewhat with the arrival of the Romans in Gaul and Christianity in these regions, around the 5th century. Pope Boniface IV even declared in 610 that this holiday was pagan and decided to create All Saints' Day, the feast of all saints. Celebrated at this time on May 13, All Saints' Day will change date in the 8th century and will be fixed on November 1. Some historians clearly see a reference to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a desire to Christianize Samhain. A reference which would also find an echo when the All Souls' Day was established in the 10th century on November 2, the day after All Saints' Day.
In American tradition, Halloween evening is devoted to trick-or-treating. Children (and adults) dress up, ring doorbells and ask for treats to the sound of “Trick or treat!”, “Trick or treat?” (translation of “trick or treat”, formula used in the United States). If the French never really copied this practice, little monsters try here and there to collect their dues on Halloween. And candy hunting can also become a fun activity to do as a family. So beware of those who didn't stock up on sweet treats that evening!
What are the scariest stories to tell by the fire on Halloween night? The White Lady is one of the most popular because it is said to be taken from a testimony dating from 1977. It tells the story of a very pale young girl dressed in white immobilized on the side of the road, one late evening in pouring rain. A doctor picks her up in his car and offers to take her home. During the journey, the girl remains very silent, but the driver nevertheless manages to know her first name, Margaret. Arriving at Pont-du-Furet, she appears abnormally agitated.... He takes her back to her home but it is at this moment that the young woman disappears. He rings the doorbell at his home, and a couple opens the door. He then learns that their only daughter died on Pont-du-Furet years before... This legend exists in several versions but it seems that motorists who do not take her on board are victims of accidents... Other stories are widespread on Halloween night: Who hasn't heard of Bloody Mary, a bloody entity that haunts mirrors? A werewolf, a man who transforms into a gigantic wolf, no longer controlling his actions and mercilessly slaughtering his victims on full moon nights?
If you travel to France, the most "scary" destinations are in the Brocéliande forest, inhabited by several legendary ghosts, or in Périgord, known for sheltering the ghost of Thérèse Saint-Clar at the Château de Puymartin... But they do. There are many others to discover in our slideshow below:
Abroad, Ireland would be the “ideal place to cause some great scares” on Halloween. Its “Spirits of Meath” festival, near Athboy, revives the Celtic legends of Halloween, with torchlight processions and outdoor horror film screenings. In Derry, voted the world's best Halloween destination by USA Today, Europe's largest Halloween street carnival takes place along the Morne and Foyle rivers. The city's buses are transformed into ghost buses for the occasion! In the United States, ranked 2nd in the ranking, two parties are unmissable on Halloween: the New York parade and its approximately 50,000 people dressed up along 6th Avenue, and the West Hollywood Carnival in which participants participate every year more than 500,000 people! In Austria, “Seleenwoche”, All Souls Week, from October 30 to November 8, honors lost loved ones while Retzer land celebrates the pumpkin. This is where you should try the pumpkin goulash, pancakes and risotto before admiring the parade of thousands of pumpkins! In Sweden, Skogskyrkogården, the largest cemetery in Stockholm, welcomes thousands of people who come to pay their respects to their loved ones. Children dress up as witches on Maundy Thursday and go candy hunting. Finally, in Italy, in Otranto in Puglia, the religious festival of Tutti i Santi also sees families gather in cemeteries, while guided tours of the martyrs' chapel take place in the Otranto Cathedral, where more are buried of 800 skulls decapitated during a Turkish invasion in the 15th century...
How to dress up, make a costume or a mask for Halloween? On Halloween, for people who love traditions, the heroes are witches, ghosts, zombies, vampires, mummies, skeletons, werewolves and even demons! Our numerous step by step will also help all budding monsters to create their own costumes or masks in no time:
To perfectly match the event, Linternaute.com offers you many tips for easy Halloween makeup that will perfectly scare all your friends or neighbors:
No Halloween without a pumpkin! While some are satisfied with a plastic Jack'O Lantern, purists will prefer to get their hands dirty and make their own pumpkin. A fun activity to do with friends or family with a large vegetable. And if, however, the pumpkins are out of stock, you can always fall back on pumpkins! To properly prepare your pumpkin, you will need to remove all the flesh with a small spoon, then draw a terrifying face on it and cut it out using a sharp-toothed knife. Follow our tutorial and below, a little inspiration through our selection of the craziest pumpkins:
For those who prefer to shiver at home, films and series can help you end the Halloween evening well. In certain productions, which come to us from across the Atlantic, there are numerous references to Halloween. What American sitcom doesn't have its own special Halloween episode? If you're more into cinema than strolling through cemeteries or collecting candy, why not take advantage of October 31 to have a special Horror Film evening? Obviously, the unmissable feature film is called... Halloween, the night of the masks. John Carpenter's film with Jamie Lee Curtis has simply become cult. But among our selection of the best horror films, you will also find It, Ring, Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream and even Rosemary's Baby... The list goes on. And why not try your hand at an Italian horror film? The great master of horror Dario Argento has created some incredible hemoglobin masterpieces. We cannot highly recommend Suspiria, Ténèbres or Le Syndrome de Stendhal in which his daughter, the famous actress Asia Argento, plays. It's up to you to choose from these peaks of horror! See our top 20 horror films.