Unlike the UK, where the emphasis is on Halloween on the 31 October, here in France All Saints’ Day, 1 November, is a very important part of the traditional French calendar. It is a day reserved for commemorating the dead and is marked by families gathering together to visit their local cemetery to place pots of chrysanthemums on their relatives’ graves. You can see these pots of flowers for sale everywhere, including outside supermarkets, at weekly markets and even outside the cemeteries themselves. It’s also a weekend when many of the younger French people who have moved away to live in towns and cities, return home to be with their families.
Since 2013, Twilight has organised a very special event to help supporters celebrate Toussaint. The Twilight Facebook Fundraising Group enables supporters to buy a candle to remember their lovely four-legged friends who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge, or dearly missed human relatives. On the eve of Toussaint, our fantastic volunteer Linda prepares a beautiful display at her home, which is photographed and posted on the site. Every year the number of candles grows, from fifty-four in the early days to over seventy scented candles plus beautiful charms and flowers in 2016, and nearly eighty in 2018. It is a wonderful way to commemorate the memory of a beloved pet and much appreciated by the many supporters who participate.
Although Twilight does a great deal of its fundraising via social media, if this blog post has inspired you to take part, then simply send us an email with your donation and the name of the person, human or animal, that you would like to remember. It’s €5 for small candle and €10 for a large. Linda will add your details to her Toussaint list and ensure that a candle is burning brightly in memory of your dear friend.
Toussaint Candles 2018:
“The air was filled with Jasmine and Vanilla when the candles were lit. This is the sixth year – each year special and different but always for special memories and loved ones. The jewels sparkled….the light was full of life and love …the clouds departed…and Twilight sparkled in the Night Sky.”