Halloween in France is becoming a more popular event, probably thanks to American TV Shows, many of which are very keenly followed here in France. I’m always amazed when I’m sitting in our local bar Chez Louis to hear locals speak about The Mentalist as if they know Patrick Jane (the hero if you haven’t seen it). The other TV programme that is watched with passion is NCIS and all of my French friends seem to adore the character of Abby Sciuto. Abby is very much a Halloween character, gothic and dark and I wonder if she is actually responsible for the growing appeal of Halloween for the French.
This year more than ever, shop windows are filled with pumpkins and witches on broom sticks and I’ve even seen some children dressed up and knocking on doors in the village for trick or treating.
It’s not quite the same as it is in the US or the UK though and an expat friend told me a story that perfectly illustrates the stage we’re at.
She tells me that some French kids knocked at her door and called out “Trick or Treat” in English. She wanted to improve her French so she asked them what “trick or treat” would be in French.
The answer came rapidly “s’il vous plait Madame…”
Actually, phrases have developed around Halloween here in France and if you want to know how to say trick or treat in French these are popular sayings:
“Farce ou friandise” – a saying which came from Quebec and is used for “trick or treat”…
“tu paies ou tu as un sort” – You pay or you suffer!
“Des bonbons ou un mauvais tour !” Sweets or it’s a bad trick for you!
“Des bonbons ou la mort” Sweets or death!