This is my fourth Halloween in Paris, and I'm getting really excited to celebrate. As I've mentioned before, holidays are an important part of expat life. While I might not have made a big deal about Halloween in America, I get really excited about costumes and decorations in France.
I'm in the midst of getting ready for this year's decorations (more on that soon!), my costume is complete and the pumpkin is waiting to be carved. I'm definitely disproportionately excited about this party.
So, without further ado...
Here are the essential elements to throwing a Halloween party in Paris:
1. Fun Invites
Whether you're sending out email messages, paper invitations or facebook events, a fun image is an easy way to set the mood for the party.
Last year we combined Halloween and Day of the Dead for a double feature:
I would argue that this is the most fun part of getting ready for Halloween. From ghost garlands made from wax paper to swarms construction paper bats, from themed skeleton characters to spiders made out of pipe cleaners, prepping for decorations is like going back to elementary school art class.
Check out my Halloween party Pinterest board for inspiration!
3. Ghoulish Treats
Party food can be another form of decoration. Last year I carved a butternut squash and a friend added guacamole, et voilà! a delicious, if slightly disgusting, treat. She also cut up olives to make spiders on eggs, and stuck pretzels into madeleines to make bugs.
If you are feeling ambitious, why not add a Halloween cocktail? Perhaps a Zombie or a Blood and Sand. For our Halloween / Day of the Dead party last year, a friend created a cocktail with mole bitters.
4. Spooky Playlist
Spotify is perfect for Halloween parties, with an enormous range of music and the possibility of making communal playlists.
My dear friend put together a fun Halloween playlist, with songs not obviously associated with Halloween, such as:
- Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- My Body's a Zombie For You by Dead Man's Bones (Ryan Gosling's band)
- Pure Imagination by Fiona Apple
- I Put A Spell On You by Nina Simone
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
5. Un Chat Noir
If at all possible, try and have your party at the apartment of a friend with a friendly black cat.
Just because you're in France, it doesn't mean you can't carve a jack-o'-lantern! Go to your local market and ask for a citrouille (one of the hardest words in French for me to pronounce correctly).