Ho spent the summer in Paris trying to lock in the agreement, but the French government was purposely evasive, as it was conspiring to undermine Vietnamese independence. Ho was nevertheless well received in the French media. A French reporter who met him noted his “engaging manner and extraordinary gift for making contact,” which “at once brought a warm and direct exchange of views and gave a startlingly fresh ring to commonplace words.”  Ho returned to Vietnam in October and appealed to the Vietnamese people for patience. The French, however, showed their hand on November 22, 1946. Using a dispute over control of customs in Haiphong as a pretext, French warships bombarded the unprotected port city, killing at least 6,000 and wounding some 25,000. On December 19, Ho issued a call for “nationwide resistance”:
Samhain was a fire festival. Sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the Gods. The townspeople would take an ember from the bonfire to their home and re-light the fire in their family hearth. The ember would usually be carried in a holder - often a turnip or gourd. They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits. So they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their ember holders. They hoped that the spirits would be frightened and not bother them. Children continue to dress up today in various costumes. Pumpkins are now the objects of choice into which to carve faces.