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La Toussaint (All Saints’ Day) is a public holiday in France. If Halloween (which means the eve of holy, so the 31st of October) is still a very marginal celebration, and mainly consumer orientated, the 1st of November, la Toussaint is Christian festival. People go to cemeteries and place flowers on their family graves, in honour of their Saints. The most common, and traditional flowers for the occasion are chrysanthèmes (chrysanthemums). This catholic remembrance day was decided in the XIXth century by Pope Grégoire; perhaps to Christianize the Celtic and so pagan festival of Samhain.

However, the 1st of November falls on a Tuesday this year and allows people to faire le pont; in other words to have a long week-end. They already had a few in May this year! For more about this expression, check faire le pont.

For more Halloween words, have fun with that Halloween crossword.

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