Last weekend was Halloween, and I celebrated it almost American-style here in Paris. I guess I'm lucky that Paris has a huge American ex-pat community and so there are still a lot of Halloween events going on and plenty of Halloween parties. Nearly every Anglophone bar has a Halloween party and most of them include costume contests and free drinks for people who come in a costume. I even finally found some decent costume shops here in Paris that aren't too expensive (at least for accessories) on the rue du Faubourg Montmartre. My Halloween was as close to American as I could made it. All it needed were more people in costumes in the streets and bars, but unfortunately the French may never understand the true wonders of the holiday and how much fun it can be. Most of them just seemed puzzled that I was dressing up; they all think it is only for little kids to ask for candy. I had to explain that even adults celebrate in the US, just we prefer to go to Halloween costume parties rather than go trick-or-treating. Maybe one day Halloween will finally catch on in France, but I don't really expect it to.
On Friday night I went to an American Expats meetup at The Thistle. We had a pumpkin carving contest. The organizer brought all the pumpkins he could find and then everyone split into teams, paid a few euros for a pumpkin and carving supplies, and got to work. We had an hour to carve pumpkins and then we lined them all up on the bar, put candles in, and enjoyed the site of a bar covered in jack-o-lanterns. Unfortunately, our team did not win, but it was still fun and there were some amazing pumpkins!
On Saturday night I went out with a few friends and we went to a couple of the different bars having Halloween parties. I was a witch, Marybeth was a bunny, my husband was a cowboy and our Polish friend, Catherine, was a flapper. Our costumes weren't perfect, but we did the best with what we could find at a reasonable price. We stayed out late and had some fun with the other Halloween aficionados.