Halloween in France

Posted by on Friday, October 31, 2014 in Celebrations, Culture | 0 comments

Halloween in France


Les squelettes dansants – dancing skeletons.

Although Halloween isn’t commonly celebrated  in France it is starting to make more of an appearance. Some people go to parties dressed up in fearsome costumes. Of course commerce has caught on with the internationalisation of business and shops are being decorated with the usual pumpkins, witches and all the other scary things associated with Halloween.


Une tombe – a grave

Originally, Halloween started as a pagan Celtic celebration back in what in what is today Ireland. People left food on their doorsteps to entice the good spirits and wore frightening masks to ward off the bad spirits.

Along came the Romans and this is what they said. ‘We like your food and masks, they’re all good fun but to this we’d like to add our ceremony; a day to honour our dead and recognise the end of the harvest and the start of the miserable winter to come.’ This is why in France All Saints Day (La Toussaint) is celebrated on 1st November and families visit loved ones they’ve lost to put flowers on their graves and attend religious ceremonies. And we wonder why people suffer from SAD!

Le vocabulaire de Halloween 

une araignée spider

Une araignée

Une araignée

l’automne autumn/fall

un balai broom

une blague a joke

des bonbons sweets/candy

un cimetière cemetery

un chat noir black cat

une chaudron cauldron (chaud means hot – all makes sense!)

un chapeau pointu pointed hat

une chauve-souris bat (literally a bald mouse!)


Un chat noir sur une citrouille avec des chauve-souris

Un chat noir sur une citrouille avec des chauve-souris

une citrouille pumpkin

un corbeau a crow

un crapeau toad

un déguisement costume (think of disguise)

un diable devil (think of diabolical)

un épouvantail scarecrow

un fantôme ghost (think phantom)

fêter Halloween celebrate Halloween

un feu follet jack-o’- lantern

les gourmandises treats (literally means greedies!)

hanter to haunt

un hibou an owl

Un fantôme - a ghost

Un fantôme – a ghost

jouer un tour (à quel qu’un) to play a trick (on someone)

un loup-garou werewolf

un lutin goblin

un masque mask

une momie mummy




La pleine lune - full moon

La pleine lune – full moon

un monstre monster

un mort vivant living dead

une ombre a shadow

la peur 

la pleine lune full moon

le sang blood (think red sangria)

un serpent snake

une sorcière witch (think sorcerer – which is sorcier in French)

un sort spell

un squelette skeleton

la terreur terror

la Toussaint All Saints’ Day

le trente et un octobre 31st October (months don’t take a capital letter in French)


Les chave-souris – bats       (bald mice!)

un triton newt

un vampire vampire

une verrue a wart (think verrunca – they’re from the same nasty family anyway)

les voisins neighbours

un zombie zombie

Samantha fête Halloween

Watch this daft short sketch show for some language practice. You can get the transcript below along with the translation into English. It’s great for learning expressions to improve your colloquial French.


YouTube is wonderful for listening practice. If you like all things creepy just type Halloween and something like

chanson (song) dessin animé (cartoon) There are plenty of Meg et Mog cartoon in French – just learn the vocab above.

N’ayez pas peur! – Don’t be afraid! N’oubliez pas – don’t forget to subscribe to the Frogs Legs on Toast Newsletter to be kept updated.


Article Name
Halloween in France
Halloween isn't really celebrated much in France though now the tradition is making it's way into the commercial side of things and people are beginning to dress up, have parties and some children will go trick or treating. November 1st is much more significant in France. All Saints' Day - La Toussaint is when people visit the graves of lost ones and attend religious ceremonies.

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