Love is in the air...
Hello my fellow Francophiles!
Welcome to February in France.
Today's post is about some fun facts, updates and how to adapt to one's surroundings.
Read time: 6 minutes
Living in a foreign country is hard, you can read all about my growing pains in the I Hate France section, but it's the hard that makes it great.
Strife and struggle
Pain and suffering
Defeat or Victory
Ah, c'est la vie, mes amies!
Two of my favorite French expressions - C'est la vie and La Vie en Rose - common French expressions, yes, but it is the experience of these expressions makes them, well, true.
Lend me your ear for a second, please.
C'est la vie, translated means: That's life. But it is how it is delivered, contextually speaking, and of course the tone/attitude on how it is said, packs a punch, either positively or negatively!
La Vie en Rose, translated means: A Pink Life, which doesn't make much sense, except when it does. La Vie en Rose invokes a feeling of everything is coming up roses, or that you are seeing life through pink colored lenses - it just means being tickled pink with happiness!
Living as an immigrant (technically I am an ex-pat, but I prefer to call myself an immigrant) I have this habit of speaking Franglais, a mix of French and English. I even make up words, not on purpose, but because my brain is constantly battling two languages.
It's an everyday struggle, which can be a pain because everyone around me, doesn't have that problem. But, it is what it is, so I can either adapt and be victorious or claim defeat. Basically, I must work harder. (Ugh! I'm SUCH an American!) After all, it's the hard that makes it great.
This week, I made up the word - Quit - no, not said like that. I was attempting to say quick and vite (pronounced veet) at the same time, it came out as Queeeet!! Ah, c'est la vie! But, I was also tickled pink, because I sounded ridiculous, but it also sparked today's blog post!
You're welcome! (squeeee!)
I am very lucky to be alive, I feel luckier to be able to have the guts to live as an immigrant in another country, and even luckier still, because I love!!
So, with February here and because love is in the air, and because I melange languages, I decided to melange my two favorite expressions: C'est la vie en rose!
Here's some French and February fun facts:
February 2 - La Chandeleur
Also known as Candlemas (Christian) Imbolg (Pagan) Groundhog Day (North American)
Candlemas, is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus. This holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or jour des crêpes.
Imbolg means "in the belly." It is a light festival and celebrates the first stirrings of Spring. The perce neige flower, which means piercing snow flower, begins to blossom from the winter's snow. And, France is full of them!
I found the following text while doing internet research, so enjoy, as I did, and check it out when you can: http://french.about.com/od/culture/a/chandeleur.htm
Not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes on Chandeleur,
but they also do a bit of fortune telling while making them.
It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other,
and flip the crêpe into the air.
If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan,
your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
There are all kinds of French proverbs and sayings for Chandeleur; here are just a few.
Note the similarities to the Groundhog Day predictions made in the US and Canada:
À la Chandeleur, l'hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens
À la Chandeleur, le jour croît de deux heures
On Candlemas, the day grows by two hours
Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte
Candlemas covered (in snow), forty days lost
Rosée à la Chandeleur, hiver à sa dernière heure
Dew on Candlemas, winter at its final hour
5 - Spring was thought to started on this day. February means purification, a time when seeds are to be sown. Spring cleaning really starts in February!
14 - Valentine's Day
Some say Saint Valentine was either martyred or buried on the 14th, hence it's place on the calendar. As you may or may not know, Valentine was a rebel. He defied Roman Emperor Claudius, who had forbidden marriage for his soldiers, but that didn't stop Valentine.
He went on to perform marriages in secret and was later locked up because of it.
I guess there is no such thing as forbidden love!?
15 - Lupercalia
A fertility festival honoring Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus.
Basically it's a Roman national holiday love fest! Think Mardi Gras, Carnival, the 4th of July type of party, but Roman old school style, complete with running naked in the streets!
Luperalia means Wolf Festival. The Luperci, a Roman priest order, would return to the sacred cave where the two boys, Romulus and Remus, were believed to have been looked after by a she-wolf (lupa in Latin). A goat (for fertility) and a dog (for purification) were sacrificed by the priests. Then, after cutting the goat’s hide into strips, they dipped them in the sacrificial blood and went out into the streets, striking any woman who happened to be passing by with the goat hide to make the women fertile in the coming year.
Marc Antony, a Luperci, was said to have presented a laurel crown to Julius Caesar during the Lupercalia festival. Caesar turn it down because he felt he didn't have the support of the people, at this the people cheered. Caesar was assassinated a month later. Lupercalia has officially dissolved, but perhaps we can blame the adapting of this holiday on Christians (again) who made Valentine's Day official.
18 - 6 March - School Vacation
French kiddos are on break for two weeks. French students have a two week break after 6-7 weeks of schooling!
28 - Carnaval Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and 47 days before Easter.
Parties world wide ensue, and in Bordeaux, there is a parade procession with children dressed up in costumes walk the city streets and music, and little parties in different neighborhoods! Think of the ending of Chocolat, starring Johnny Depp, such a great movie, and come to think of it, is set in France and I think in the month of February!
It's the PERFECT movie if you are in the mood for LOVE!
PS: Watch the movie, Chocolat or again.
It will invoke the feeling of C'est la vie en rose!
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...