You wouldn't have known it from the thirteen thirteen-year-old French witches partying it up at our house on Tuesday night, but Halloween may be on its way out in France. Forbes.com has announced the demise of the holiday, quoting several French newspapers -- and check out their great photo.
"Halloween was a marketing gimmick aimed mainly at children. It's a big festival of consumption selling outfits, masks, gadgets and it couldn't last forever," declared former "Non à Halloween" president Arnaud Guyot-Jeanninin to Reuters. His group has disbanded, its mission accomplished.
As an American expat, I have always had mixed feelings about the importation of Halloween to France. Although I was happy that my children could celebrate it with their friends -- and one daughter especially loves the holiday -- I can understand the consternation of French people who don't want to adopt a celebration that is foreign to them, despite its Celtic origins.
And then there is the uncomfortable cohabitation between Halloween and All Saint's Day, or la Toussaint, on November 1st. The latter is a national holiday and serves as the French family Memorial Day; traditionally, it is the time to decorate family members' graves with flowers. The idea of whooping it up in ghoulish costumes the night before visiting the family cemetery legitimately represents a disconnect for many.
What do you think? Has le Halloween come and gone?