Living France - - Competition -

roast at the

On Sun­day one of the cafés hosts a lunch of moules-frites and in the af­ter­noon there is a spec­tac­u­lar. One year it was a stunt mo­tor­cy­clist, an­other it was a man with var­i­ous con­trap­tions to pedal and some­times it’s a singer or cabaret in the salle des fêtes. Dur­ing the week there is a fancy dress pa­rade for the chil­dren, var­i­ous games and the staff from the cafés have a race in fancy dress.

On 13 July there is the fire­work dis­play. It starts with a torch­lit pro­ces­sion at 10.30pm. We are led by the town band to the sports ground where the dis­play takes place. It starts at 11.30pm and is mag­nif­i­cent with a mu­si­cal ac­com­pa­ni­ment. The whole vil­lage turns out in­clud­ing tod­dlers in pushchairs and it lasts a good half-hour thereby fin­ish­ing on 14 July. We all make our way back to the Grand Place and the salles des fêtes where the bal pop­u­laire takes place un­til the early hours.

On the morn­ing of 14 July the town band is out in the Grande Place play­ing the Mar­seil­laise among other things. You need stamina to get through the week!

There is no need to apol­o­gise to your stu­dents, Dave. The cel­e­bra­tions hap­pen. You just didn’t find the right vil­lage! Brenda Cook Croisilles, Pas-de-Calais sought to de­fend tra­di­tion – the monar­chy, aris­toc­racy, the Ro­man Catholic Church and lo­cal clergy – against the changes driven by the Revo­lu­tion. These dis­tur­bances were quelled sav­agely by troops sent from Paris... So maybe that is why 14 July 1789 is not given the same joy­ful sig­nif­i­cance in Brittany as else­where in France? Paul Baker Hove, East Sus­sex

If you have some­thing you’d like to share, from anec­dotes to hol­i­day snaps, drop us a line at let­ters@liv­ or to The Let­ters Edi­tor, Liv­ing France, Cum­ber­land House, Oriel Road, Chel­tenham, GL50 1BB. We re­serve the right to edit your let­ters.

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