The All Saints day is one of the most respected national public days in France. During this bank holiday, French people traditionally pay tribute to their relatives but La Toussaint (French All Saints) is also today a good opportunity to get together and spend time in family.
Visiting cemeteries and bringing flowers to the graves of their loved ones is now part of French people's All Saints traditions.
November the 1st is indeed a national Jour Férié in France, meaning that most of the shops, restaurants, schools and companies are closed. La Toussaint (All Saints Day), although deeply rooted in the Catholic religion, is actually widely respected in France and has given rise to a few customs.
Generally speaking, French people like to attend the All Saints Mass to remember the Catholic Saints as well as honour their late relatives. Then they usually take the advantage of this bank day to visit some cemetery and lay down a symbolic bunch of flowers at gravesites as sign of honour.
On November 1st it is a common sight to see French people laying chrysanthemums or wreaths of immortelles (everlasting flowers) on the graves of loved ones.
Chrysanthemums are indeed so closely linked to La Toussaint that the French never give them as a gift.
La Toussaint national holiday actually represents two holy days: All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Renowned for their sense of tradition, many French people still respect this ancient religious ritual. Today November 1st has become a public holiday during which both children, parents and families can spend time together.
Why don't you take the advantage of this 2-day holiday to tour one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, the Père Lachaise in Paris?
This authentic graveyard is indeed a must-visit as it is home to a great number of famous graves. What an honour to lay down some flowers on the grave of Molière, Oscar Wilde or Frédéric Chopin, amongst others!
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