French holidays – the art of celebrating

One of the features of Frenchmen – in which they are seldom surpassed by other nations – is a tradition of celebrating everything to the full extent.

Christmas, Easter and other Catholic holidays in France are celebrated as well as in other European countries. Along with the all-European holidays France has its own traditional and known for the whole world for its magnificence holidays. The Cannes film festival, Grand prix of Monaco, the Carnival in Nice are the brightest and very prestigious events.

But there are also absolutely unique holidays. For example, the reading holiday in France takes place in the second half of October. The various events dated by this holiday, are held during three days and all country plunges into literary interests: exhibitions, conferences, presentations, book fairs, exchange of books etc.

Then, in the end of October, since the third Monday, there starts the Week of Taste which comes to the end with a Holiday of Chestnuts. Everywhere it is possible to try dishes with chestnuts that day, from salad to a dessert. In general France differs from other countries for celebrating a considerable quantity of the events devoted to delicatessen. Frenchmen consider that only they are engaged in cuisine, and the others – cooking. It is considered that the sense of taste and understanding of well prepared food should be brought up in people since the childhood, as the ability to read. The culture of culinary art in France is put at the highest level. So there is no surprise in devoting so many holidays to it.

The holiday “Beaujolais nouveau” is a day when wine of this year appears in sale. Every third Thursday of November people from every corner of the globe gather there to try the “new wine” first.

It is interesting that in France there are some traditions close to ours. For example, the first Sunday of March is the National day of grandmother. The holiday in general is similar to ours on March, 8th, but the attention is paid to those women who are older then 55. The Victory Day over fascism is celebrated on May, 8th with laying of wreaths on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Eternal fire. And May, 1st, which is quite amazing, in France is a holiday of the Lily of the valley. Bouquets are on sale everywhere and it is considered that exactly this day flowers possess magic property.

The holiday which causes special national pride of Frenchmen and Parisians is the Day Bastille. On July, 14th, 1789 the risen Parisians attacked fortress-prison la Bastille and by this began the Great French revolution. The official program of celebrating contains a series of balls: balls for firemen, the Big ball which takes place on July, 13th in the garden of Tuileries. During this day which is also called fête de la Fédération (the Federation Day) passes a solemn military parade on the Champs Elysée. The parade begins at 10 am at place de l’Étoile and moves towards the Louvre where the president of France reviews the troops. On Place Concorde opposite to the well-known Arc Triomphe, special places for viewers are made. The big salute and fireworks at Tour Eiffel and on Champ de Mars become the holiday ending.

The uniqueness of the French holidays consists in an interlacing of various traditions of antiquity, the Middle Ages and the present, seasoned with the provincial cultures originality. Each weekend in various places in France festivals and celebrations take place. All events are accompanied by the dishes prepared specially for this holiday, and wine. Planning the traveling to France, even a short one, it is almost always possible to find an event which will be unforgettable for you.