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All Saints' Day in France, La Toussaint

La Fete de la Toussaint, a solemn and special event to honour the dead.

Croque Monsieur

What is All Saint’s Day?

All Saint’s Day, or La Toussaint in French, takes place on 1st November and is a national public holiday in France whereby people take the time to honour the dead.

What do families do on All Saint’s Day?

Often families visit cemeteries of loved ones and place flowers on the graves, sometimes also lighting a candle to symbolise happiness in the afterlife. You may also find people attend All Saints Mass at their local church, known in French as Messe de la Toussaint.

Families will often gather together on this special day. It is seen as an opportunity to strengthen family ties and spend a respectful day together in shared grief regardless of any grievances.

Why are Chrysanthemum’s used on the graves?

If you happen to be in France around La Toussaint, you will see florists selling chrysanthemums in a variety of colours. In France, chrysanthemums are firmly associated with death and considered a symbol of immortality, as the plant can survive through the winter frosts.

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