Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Europe Prepares For Reflective All Saints Day; Turns Icy Shoulder To American-Style Hedonistic Halloween

"Halloween, ancient Celtic festival or U.S. marketing gimmick according to your point of view, is dying in France after a short-lived breakthrough, French media reported on Tuesday.

"Halloween pretty much buried," the daily le Monde reported, quoting Benoit Pousset, head of costume company Cesar, who attributed the festival's demise in France to "a cultural reaction linked to the rise of anti-Americanism."

"Our Halloween sales have been falling by half every year since 2002," Franck Mathais of toys retailer La Grande Recre told the newspaper.

A group called "Non a Halloween" set up to fight the trend, which it saw as an unwelcome intrusion fostered by purely commercial interests, even wound itself up last year.

"There was no need for the group to exist any more," former president Arnaud Guyot-Jeannin told Reuters.

Halloween is believed to have originated as a Celtic agricultural festival before becoming associated with the night before the Christian festival of All Saints Day on November 1." ...

Reuters "French press declares Halloween dead" WNED.org October 31, 2006


Powazki Cemetery, Warsaw, Poland, European Union, on a recent All Saints Day, November 1.

[Click image for enlargement.]

Photo credit: (c) Sabina Garncarz and culture.polishsite.us. With thanks.


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