This was Juliette’s first Halloween, and it was all very exciting (and just a little bit frightening). We were invited over to a classmate’s house to get the formalities going. Poor little Juliette almost had a heart-attack when she arrived and discovered seven or eight little witches (and a grim reaper), all charging around the house loaded up on sugar. It was straight back into Papa’s arms for a little consoling before we were ready to go in.
Halloween isn’t really a big thing in France — it’s an American import that never really caught on. So the host’s family went around to all of the neighbors to warn them that a gang of funnily-dressed little people was going to arrive at their door between 5-6pm, begging for candy. They went one step further, and provided the families with the candy to give the children.
It wasn’t a total success. Not being familiar with the tradition, some households improvised and gave entire boxes of cookies to one of the children, with instructions to “share!” Result: tears.
Other families gave out the candy too quickly, so that the first children got some and later children did not. Result: tears.
Some families had dogs. Result: tears.
One family had an old man, working in his garden. Result: candy for the kids and a head of lettuce for the parents.
It was one of the odder experiences we’ve had over here, to be honest. Juliette’s haul was modest, maybe a dozen pieces of candy, but she was pleased as punch. Candy is very rarely handed out at our house, and when it is, it’s handed out one piece at a time. So this was like Christmas and birthdays and Easter all rolled up into one.
Next year, a pumpkin?