Hallo-What?

To an outsider, North American Halloween seems both fun and strange

Hallo-What?

Lyse Prentout , Author

Halloween is once again upon us. This holiday of scares and pumpkin carving began as the Celtic folkloric festival of Samain and began in the Anglo-Celtic islands of the United Kingdom and Ireland. As the festival was on the eve of the Christian festival of All Saints, celebrations of Halloween (literally All Hallow’s Eve) spread throughout Europe and the world.

Given this history, one might think that Halloween is a major holiday in Europe. Well, not really. 

 In my native France (as well as Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, and many other nations), the major autumn holiday is All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on November 1. On this day, people go to the cemeteries to visit the graves of their deceased loved ones, bringing flowers and praying that they are at peace. Usually, the members of a family come together to support each other and are dressed in black. This is more similar to the American holiday of Memorial Day instead of Halloween.

Halloween is not an exceptional festival as in the United States in European countries such as France,