Cart

No products in the cart.

French Culture

La Toussaint

Pierre By Pierre on November 1, 2018
what is la toussaint

What is La Toussaint? Learn the French traditions of All Saints’ Day in France, both a Catholic holiday and an important day for families, and practice your French with this bilingual easy story.

Use the floating blue icon in the bottom right to hide/reveal the English translations on this page.

Toggle translation Hide/reveal translations
Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Mandy et j’habite Ă  Perth, en Australie. Cet automne, je suis allĂ©e faire trois sĂ©jours en immersion en France d’affilĂ©e avec les professeurs de French Today, et j’ai beaucoup amĂ©liorĂ© mon français ! J’ai eu la chance de passer la fĂȘte de la Toussaint chez Pierre, dans le Lot-et-Garonne, et donc d’explorer un peu la culture française liĂ©e Ă  cette fĂȘte.

Hi! My name is Many and I live in Perth, in Australia. This autumn, I went for three French immersion homestays in France in a row with French Today’s teachers, and I’ve improved my French a lot! I was lucky to spend All Saints Day at Pierre’s, in the Lot-et-Garonne region, and therefore to explore the French culture associated with this holiday.

1 – What is “La Toussaint”?

La Toussaint est un jour oĂč l’on se rĂ©unit chaque 1er Novembre pour honorer la mĂ©moire des morts, c’est une fĂȘte avant tout familiale.

All Saints Day is celebrated each year on November 1st and is a day on which the french reunite with their families to honor the memory of the dead, it is above all a day about family.

Les Français visitent, nettoient, fleurissent et les tombes de leurs ancĂȘtres et y placent des bougies, d’habitude des chrysanthĂšmes et des cyclamens. Beaucoup de tombes sont Ă©galement ornĂ©es de petites plaques qui exprimer des souhaits, comme : “Tu seras toujours lĂ  pour nous. Aucun jour ne passe sans que nous pensions Ă  toi”.

The French visit, clean and place flowers and candles on the graves of their ancestors, usually chrysanthemums and marigolds. Many of the graves are also adorned with small plaques expressing wishes, like: “You will always be there for us. Not a day passes without us thinking of you.”

2 – Origins of La Toussaint in France

L5 + L6

À Moi Paris Method - Upper Intermediate

4.96 (56 reviews)
US$119.99US$95.99

La Toussaint est Ă  l’origine une fĂȘte catholique, cĂ©lĂ©brant tous les saints, elle est fĂȘtĂ©e le 1er novembre depuis le VIII siĂšcle.  Pendant le XIĂšme siĂšcle, une autre fĂȘte a Ă©tĂ© Ă©tablie le 2 Novembre, la FĂȘte de tous les Morts.

All Saints day originated as a catholic holiday to honour saints and has been celebrated on November 1st since the 8th century.  In the 11th century, another celebration became established on November 2nd, called the Day of the Dead.

Pour les Français, la diffĂ©rence entre les deux jours a toujours Ă©tĂ© floue, c’est pourquoi beaucoup de français considĂšrent encore la Toussaint comme un jour pour les morts et non les saints. Et puis maintenant, Halloween est une fĂȘte de plus en plus cĂ©lĂ©brĂ©e en France !

For the French the difference between these 2 days has always been blurry, which is why many French people still consider all saints day to be a day of the dead and not the saints. And now, Halloween in France is becoming a more popular holiday!

3 – Le Pont de La Toussaint

Cette annĂ©e, la Toussaint tombait un jeudi, ce qui signifie une nouvelle sensationnelle pour les français.  Pour la plupart des gens cela veut dire que l’on prend vendredi pour faire le pont de la Toussaint.

This year, All Saint’s Day was on a Thursday, which is good news for the French!  For most, it means they are able to take Friday off, using a day of their annual leave, and have an extra long weekend. 

En France les jours fériés sont célébrés dans la journée de la semaine sur lequel ils tombent, donc si un tombe sur le week-end, le français ne peux avoir un autre jour de congé, il le rate !

In France public holidays are celebrated on the day of the week on which they fall, so if one falls on a weekend, they don’t get an extra day off, they just miss out !

la toussaint france traditions

4 – Finding a Restaurant Around All Saints Day in France

C’Ă©tait le dimanche aprĂšs la Toussaint, et Pierre avait proposĂ© de m’emmener au marchĂ© de Pujols pour pratiquer mon français avec lui, tout en dĂ©couvrant la culture française.

It was the Sunday after All Saint’s Day, and Pierre had offered to take me to Pujols’ market to practice my French with him, while discovering French culture.

AprĂšs avoir regardĂ© les Ă©tals du marchĂ©, on a dĂ©cidĂ© de dĂ©jeuner avant de se promener dans le reste du village. La chance n’était pas de notre cĂŽtĂ©, les trois restaurants Ă©taient complets. Comme c’était le week-end de la Toussaint, beaucoup de monde Ă©tait sorti pour le dĂ©jeuner.

After a look around the stalls we decided to have some lunch before walking around the rest of the village. Luck was not on our side, all three restaurants were completely full. Being the weekend after All Saints Day, everybody was out and about for lunch.

Du coup, sur le conseil d’un des restaurateurs, on a dĂ©cidĂ© d’aller dĂ©jeuner dans un autre village des environs et de retourner visiter Pujols aprĂšs de repas de midi. On a atterri dans un village mĂ©diĂ©val appelĂ© Penne d’Agenais.

As a result, on the advice of one of the restaurant staff, we decided to go and have some lunch in another nearby village and return to Pujols to look around after lunch. We ended up in a medieval village called Penne d’Agenais.

Une fois encore, le restaurant Ă©tait complĂštement rĂ©servĂ©. Alors, c’est devenu une vraie chasse pour trouver un endroit oĂč manger ! Les deux restaurants suivants Ă©taient aussi complets.

Once again the restaurant was completely booked out. It then became a real hunt for a place to eat! the next 2 restaurants we tried were also completely booked out.

Ensuite, on a essayĂ© le cafĂ©, mais il Ă©tait Ă©galement complet. Cette fois la serveuse a suggĂ©rĂ© de repasser 45 minutes plus tard, ce qu’on a fait, et on a enfin pu dĂ©jeuner ! Le repas Ă©tait dĂ©licieux : Pierre a pris le saumon et moi le confit de canard. Ça valait la peine d’attendre !

Next, we tried the cafe, but that was also full, this time the waitress suggested we pop back in and check in 45 minutes, which we did, and we were finally able have lunch! The meal was delicious: Pierre chose the salmon, while I chose the confit duck. It was worth the wait!

Ce jour restera un jour trĂšs spĂ©cial pour moi : non seulement j’ai appris des tas de choses sur la Toussaint en France, mais c’Ă©tait trĂšs Ă©mouvant de voir toutes les tombes couvertes de fleurs, et les famille françaises rĂ©unies dans les restaurants. La France est vraiment un pays oĂč l’on respecte encore les traditions. Ça fait chaud au coeur.

That day will remain a very special day for me: not only did I learn a lot about All Saints’ Day in France, but it was quite moving to see all the tombs covered with flowers, and the French families gathered in the restaurants. France is truly a country where traditions are still respected. It warmed my heart.

Your first French Audiobook is on us! 😉

Download our 2.5-hour audiobook and see how different and efficient our method is. Available for iOS and Android as well as Mac and Windows.

Get Started for Free 2.5-hour audiobook recorded at 3 different speeds with full transcript