Posts Tagged ‘traditions’

Santa Claus On Motorcycles

December 19th, 2015

I love the unexpected!  Leaving a theatre the other night I ran into a motorcycle ride around Paris – thousands of Santa Clauses (well here they’re Saint Nicolas) on motorcycles, roaring down the boulevards of Paris!  Great atmosphere, great fun but boy was it loud.  And heaven help you if you wanted to cross the street!  It’s an annual charity event by the fire brigades.  Final destination – the Eiffel Tower where they distribute gifts to orphans that they help support.  Next year, if you’re


May in France – one long weekend after another!

May 3rd, 2014

The month of May is riddled with holidays in France.  And when they fall on a Thursday, as many of them do this year, the French sure know how to ‘faire le pont’, literally make the bridge, to give themselves a long weekend.  So this May the ‘ponts’ start with May Day (May 1), followed by VE Day (Victory in Europe Day on May 8th), followed by Ascension on May 29.  You get the picture.  Oh, and then there’s Pentecost Monday on June 9th.  What


In Paris with Kids for Easter?

April 20th, 2014

Thought you’d have to skip the Easter egg hunt?  No so!  Here are some Parisian options: Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower.  Run by the Secours Populaires there’s a 5 euro fee that goes to support their charity.  Colored eggs can be exchanged for chocolates.  10 – 5 Easter Sunday. The annual Easter egg hunt at the Conciergerie (1st arr.) takes place on Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free for children and teens under 18. Château de Vincennes is holding an Easter


April Fool’s Day – French Style

March 31st, 2014

In France, April Fool’s is called poisson d’avril (April fish).  So the tricks often consist of fish placed on people’s  backs.  So, if you’re in France tomorrow and see folks walking around with paper fish on their backs, now you know why!


Chandeleur is coming tomorrow!

February 1st, 2014

Like crêpes?  Then the festival of Chandeleur (Candlemass), celebrated every year on February 2nd, is for you! (Hmm, that’s Groundhog Day – you have to wonder about a link…) While probably pagan in origin Chandeleur was incorporated into Christian tradition and eventually became associated with crêpes in France, Belgium and Switzerland.  Tradition in these countries says that if you (successfully) flip a crêpe (faire sauter les crêpes) while holding a coin in your other hand it will bring prosperity to your family for the coming


Epiphany – Galette des Rois

January 7th, 2014

The French celebrate the Epiphany (which commemorates the date when the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus) with this wonderful cake – the galette des rois (or king’s cake).   While almond paste filling encased in puff pastry is the tradition in much of France, in the south it’s a circular brioche cake decorated with dried fruit.   You can even find other regional variations.  And these days you can find the traditional galettes with alternate fillings – apple & chocolate, pistachio or hazelnut!