The season is celebrated in different ways by believers of different faiths, in many countries. The following is something I wrote for my blog "Itsthatwoman - in France" on Wordpress. La Toussainte is a religious festival celebrated across all of France in remembrance of the ancestors.
Halloween is celebrated in the USA and most European countries on 31st October, but in France the day of all days is La Toussaint, celebrated on November 1st and there is not a pumpkin in sight. This is not only celebrated as a religious festival but is also a National Holiday. It means schools, businesses, public offices – pretty much everything except essential services are closed. La Toussaint – All Saints Day – is a Catholic Church tradition, and November 2nd is All Souls day when families remember their dead. However, as the 1st is also a public holiday that is the day that French families choose to celebrate.
In the days leading up to La Toussaint you will see chrysanthemums of all colors and shades displayed in stores and on sidewalks as this is the traditional flower of the season. These will be taken to the cemetery for display on the graves of family members. Grave sites are cleaned and tidied so that family members can congregate on La Toussaint and remember those who have passed on.