Everything you need to know about Hallowe’en in Nice. Saturday is going to be the scariest night of the year. What can you do in Nice ? What are the new trends and where are the best parties ?
SCARY PARTY IN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE
Blackout Events prepares a huge party in the ex-abattoir of Nice.
“The City of Nice refurbished the slaughterhouse… So it was an obvious place to hold the party!”, said Mathieu Chaux, one of the organisers of Blackout Nightmare.
The theme of this Halloween party is a tribute to the famous horror film The Purge (American nightmare in French version): the government authorises a 12-hour period in which any and all crimes are legal…
“Warning! Tomorrow, nobody is allowed to commit a crime!” This is why the security will be very important: 35 security agents have been recruited for the risk of fire and will carry out body-searches. Chaux explains: “Some people are going to come with real knives to accessorize their costume… We can’t accept that.”
Around forty volunteers help with the organisation. The place, with a surface area of 2,500m², is decorated with lights, a giant clown, a chainsaw and, of course, the old rails used to move the cattle. “It’s going to be like a mini festival with two stages: electro music for the inside and house music, outside, to relax.” The estimated budget has already topped 40,000 euros!
Between 2,000 and 2,500 tickets have been sold for Blackout Nightmare, but 3.000 people are expected tomorrow and everyone has to wear fancy-dress. “This is especially the guests, with their costumes, who will liven things up!”
Kim Chaze and Emilie Kauff
A NEW TREND: ZOMBIE COSTUMES
In France, the phenomenon of Halloween is less important than in the United States, where it is the second largest commercial event. But most of French shops are doing a lot of Hallowe’en sales during this period.
This is particularly true for the section fancy dress of department stores or for costume shops.
« We doubled the size of our section this year because last year we had already sold everything one week before Halloween », says Olivier, head of the toys department at Carrefour TNL in Nice.
Some shops sell nearly one third of their turnover during October. This is the case at Festival, a dress ing-up store in the centre of Nice. « Hallowe’en fancy dress represent 60% of themed sales.
The demand strongly increased three years ago. This trends comes from the United States, in particular from TV series », adds Julie Minière, the manager of Festival. « Before, adults used to dress-up as witches or Dracula. Today, the trend is the zombie », she confirms.
« Almost all of our sales of costumes come from characters of The Walking Dead series. The demand of our clients is directly linked to the seasons of the episodes. The most popular this year is nurse’s outfit stained with blood», says Camille G., sales manager at Party pro, a wholesaler in costumes.
The Walking Dead is an American horror series broadcasted in France since 2011. It is the story of a post-apocalyptic epidemic which transforms almost everyone into a zombie.
WHERE ARE THE SCARY CLOWNS ?
Everyone probably remembers the scary clowns that spread terror last year for Halloween. They were wandering through the streets with knifes, threatening to attack people. This year they didn’t show up. In fact, brands used them to “surf on that wave”. For example, the Blackout Nightmare’s organization, which is hosting a big party in Nice’s abattoir, chose to have a clown as their symbol. They wanted to do it last year but the local authorities refused because of the public violence.
This year people seem to have forgotten about the clowns and to prefer zombies. An American even killed one of his friends because he thought he was becoming a zombie. He later explained that he was drunk and had watched a lot of episodes of The Walking Dead in a short time.
PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN, ROUND AND SAD
This is Halloween. Every 31 October the pumpkins are the attraction but this year they’re not in good shape.
Halloween is coming and pumpkins are on market stalls and on every supermarket shelf. But this year, the top quality is hard to find. In Nice, at the Cours Saleya market, it’s difficult to locate the rare pearl. On the stalls, we can count them on the fingers of one hand and the quality is poor. Goodbye the orange colour and welcome to the sadness. This year, pumpkins are dull and not firm. Not a really good basis for a scary smile. Thus, Gisèle, a greengrocer advices us “to buy a squash because the colour is more beautiful, and this year pumpkins are overripe: that’s why their colour is greyish”.
Pumpkins remain expensive
To buy a pumpkin, you have to spend between 2, 50 and 3 euros per kilo. If you compare to last year, the price has not changed. Fortunately for sellers, the bad weather happened four weeks ago didn’t change sales. But the costumers are always reluctant to buy a pumpkin. “I think the price is too expensive”, said Nicolas, father of three children, who was wondering around the market. “You have to spend approximately 13 euros for a five-kilo pumpkin. And for me it’s a waste because we scoop it out, we carve and we draw on this vegetable, so we can’t eat it afterwards.”
To avoid the waste, Gisèle suggests keeping the pumpkins flesh to make soup or to cook pumpkin pie.
Why use the pumpkin?
In the beginning, Halloween’s symbol was… A turnip! It was based on the Jack-o-Lantern’s legend. He was condemned to wander in the twilight between hell and paradise, lighting his way with a candle in a carved turnip. In the United States, the turnip was slowly replaced by the pumpkin, which grows in October and is easier to carve. The pumpkin gave its orange color to the current Halloween’s version.
THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ: WE DON’T ONLY EAT CANDY FOR HALLOWEEN
Halloween is not normaly a big deal in France. Not many restaurants make an effort for this annual event.
However, the Hard Rock Cafe is holding an event on Saturday. The “Halloween Dark Night” will be in the Hard Rock Café hosted by a well-know DJ. Music mixes from the 80’s through to today.
Comic figures and disguised entertainers and more! entrance is free and there ‘s free make up for every participant.
Everybody must wear a costume and be over 16 years old. For the occasion candy and special cocktails will be served.
Don’t forget to bring your kids the morning at 10am for a special Halloween brunch. There’s make-up for children, pumpkins carving, a competition picture, and a mystery gift.
Price : 14 €/child and 19€/ adult. For this special event : pancakes, hot spicy pumpkin coffee and a broomy a mixture between a cookie and a browny.
See the HardRock Café facebook page for more informations.
HALLOWEEN: WHY DO WE LIKE TO BE AFRAID ?
One day per year, we wear the most frightening costumes, we become monsters covered of blood and we wander in sordid places at midnight. Halloween is popular in part because people like to be scared. So why do we try to be frightened?
For every child, a Halloween celebration is a success if you manage to collect a lot of sweets. A very good Halloween party is when you have the fright of a lifetime. It’s bizarre because normally, fear is the feeling of the danger. And we try to avoid fear as much as possible, except for Halloween.
“It’s the same principle as horror films or ghost trains” explains the Nice-based psychologist Michèle Vermillière. We created ourselves fear to exist. What we search for in this fear is that it enhances our sensibilities, it makes us fully aware”. Paradoxically, fear makes us more alive through a rush of adrenaline.
“We develop as personalities thanks to anxiety”, adds Cécile Alfonsi, another psychologist in Nice. Being scared is such a necessity for people. Halloween, its costumes, its monsters are “also a way to turn away from our own anxieties and to put our emotions into perspective”.
With the costume of zombies, vampires and witches, it’s difficult to forget that Halloween is the celebration of death. Alfonsi mentions a “positive way to sublimate the anxiety of death” in part because we like to share our fear with others.
A CINEMATIC NIGHT OF HORROR
Too old to go door to door asking for « trick or treat »? What better place to spend Halloween than in a dark and confined room watching films that give you goose bumps ?
On the 31st in the evening, the Pathé Lingostière will project special movies such as the Last witch hunter, where Vin Diesel plays a witch hunter hoping to rid the world of evil.
For the youngers , the cinema Variétés will show at 5:40 pm the Hotel transylvania 2, a cartoon showing the life of Dracula as a grandfather.
For a truly scary, stressful atmosphere, Paranormal activity « the Ghost dimension » could fit the bill and will be shown in the same cinema at 10:30 pm.
The Pathé Paris, however, will be the only one to project The Visit at 20:25 on saturday. It is about two children who are invited for a week-long stay at their grandparents’ farmhouse. Over time, the two kids discover strange and creepy things about their grandparents.
In Pathé lingostière, Crimson Peak will be shown later in the evening (10:20) and tells the story of a young writer visited by her mother’s ghost who warns her to beware of the crimson peak, an old mansion where she lives..
The Pathé Masséna and the Mercury in Nice are just showing usual movies.
FACT BOX: HALLOWEEN’S ORIGINS
Where does Halloween come from?
Halloween is a popular day all around the world, especially in the USA. It’s the night where you can live out your deepest fear, or wear the funniest horror costume. But there is a whole story behind the little witches and ghosts.
At the beginning, Halloween was a Celtic celebration, with Irish origins: the Celtic New Year. Around 3000 years ago, the Celtic calendar didn’t end on December the 31st but on October the 31st. And that night was the night of the god of death (Samain or Samhain). In October, the nights are getting longer and the legend says that ghosts took advantage of it to visit the living. To avoid the ghosts, Celts would have rites. One of them was to dress up in scary costumes to scare the ghosts and to meet for a party on the evening on October the 31st. Irish immigrants took Halloween tradition with them to the United States.
Where does the name come from?
With the arrival of Christianity, Catholics decided to celebrate All Saint’s Day on November the 1st. And if you take a closer look at the word Halloween, you see it’s a shortened version of “All Hallows Eve”, so the night before All Saint’s Day!
What about France?
Halloween isn’t really popular in France. Some brands tried to attract French people with it but it was only in a commercial target.
But some traditions are similar in the North and East of France. For example for Saint Martin, on November the 11th, kids would carve beetroots and walk from house to house to collect candies in exchange for a song.
What can we do for hallowe’en in Nice ? See the map here.