July 17, 2014

THE 14th JULY

One of the things I like about France is that they have their fireworks in summer instead of November like we do in the UK!

Bonfire night in the UK can be a challenge, hoping that the rain will hold off long enough for people to enjoy themselves and that the bonfire will light.  I dare say that many people can’t remember the significance of Bonfire Night, or “Guy Fawkes Night” as we always called it, and just see it as a fun evening with fireworks and hot dogs.  I wonder if the significance of 14th July is remembered all over France?

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It’s certainly a big event in our little corner of France and this year was no exception.  We wandered down to the village square for an apéro at the newly refurbished Jean Bart bar and waited for people to arrive and things to get going.   It was a warm, fine evening.

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Moules and frites were served by the PreHisto, people sitting at trestle tables on the pavement outside the bar.  There were plenty of moules and they were delicious, followed by a cheese course and an apricot tart.

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With the meal all done and cleared away, we got into the spirit of things with plenty of drinks and the square filled up as more and more people arrived for the fireworks.

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At the appointed hour, the pompiers gathered and led a procession through the streets to the picnic ground by the river.  A splendid firework display followed with the usual big finale.

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With the fireworks over the procession made its way back to the village square where the rest of the entertainment was happening.  The pompiers performed their award ceremony by the Mairie steps.  The bars stayed open and there was dancing to a live band in the square well into the early hours.

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Which, I have to say, is loads more fun than having to don your wellies, woolly hat and gloves to eat a cool, damp hot dog in a muddy field in November !! 

15 comments:

  1. We arrived back home at 2:00 am and I'm still recovering:)

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    1. Ken, something tells me you should get out more !!
      Mind you, we didn't last until 2am. At 12.30 we staggered up the hill to bed and listened to the fun from there!

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  2. «Allons enfants de la patrie!»

    Bastille Day is very important on the political , and thus the social, calendar of France. Looks like a delightful celebration! We Canadians do ours on July 1; definitely better than a soggy or snowy November (more likely snowy, to tell the truth).

    Blessings and Bear hugs! Bénédictions et étreintes d'ours!

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  3. I've never lived anywhere with a fireworks tradition in winter. So glad you got to enjoy some in warm comfort.

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    1. mitch, what about New Year's Eve?

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    2. mitch, not to mention, but July 4 fireworks in San Francisco are pretty winter-like. :)

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    3. Walt the Fourth: How could I forgot winter fireworks during a San Francisco summer. And, you're right! I'm sure I must have lived someplace that had New Year's Eve fireworks... I just can't remember!

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  4. The town festivals around here are amazing. Ours is this weekend: the annual snail festival on Sunday. They have food and dancing along with a flea market in the morning. And snail races, of course. Last year's entrants should be just now closing in on the finish line...

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    1. Walt, for a moment there I almost believed you about the snail races!

      Mind you, a friend resurrected an old Derbyshire tradition called the Ible Hen Races, so you never know, it could happen!

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    2. jean, oh, they really do have snail races. I was joking only about the finish line part. :)

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  5. Wish I could have been there to celebrate with you :). Btw what's the new 'Jean Bart' bar like? We once had a drink on the terrace and my friend ventured in to go to the toilet ... When he came back, he said "I wouldn't go in there, if I were you ...." Apparently the place was quite 'insalubre'.

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    1. Martine, we are told that new facilities are being fitted!
      The owners are keen to do well and are making the shop next door into a coffee/sandwich shop.
      They have already started serving paninis in the bar.

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  6. I could not agree more, fireworks here is so much better than November, though we had them cancelled here one year because it was so wet! Have a good weekend Diane xx

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