The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No.26

Autumn in France is a

Autumn in France is a time of celebration and remembrance. For the last fewyears, Halloween, which used to be largely ignored, especially here in the ruralfar north where I am, has become much more popular. Go back just a few yearsand you’d hardly know it existed, but now local shops are decked out withfestive spider webs, singing pumpkins and Halloween themed chocolate – youwon’t find me complaining.Here in my little village we’ve just about reached the trick or treat stage with afew kids traipsing through muddy farmyards to knock on doors for sweetthings. But to most people round here, Halloween is the night before LaToussaint, All Saints Day, a time to remember loved ones no longer with us.Every year French churchyards are a riot of colour on the 1 November nationalholiday. Friends and family of the dearly departed take pots of vibrantchrysanthemums to place on graves. We place flowers in our local churchyardon the tomb of a WWI British soldier killed nearby. He is not forgotten.Armistice day is a serious affair in France, as well as a National holiday. Each 11November, at the 11th hour, we gather in front of the church memorial. TheMayor lays a wreath and stands to attention alongside his deputy who solemnlyintones “Mort pour la France”, the Mayor then names villagers lost to war. TheBritish soldier is included. All is silent, other than cows mooing in thesurrounding fields. It’s a poignant event, one that brings the communitytogether.Afterwards, everyone gathers at the town hall for a vin d’honneur, a glass ofwine, to honour the memories of those lost. Though this year we won’t be anyclinking of glasses, we must socially distance. As everywhere, the virus that hasturned our world upside down has impacted daily life here in the middle-ofnowhererural France. Mask-wearing is a way of life, the scent of alcoholic handwash is ever present and there is no kissing or handshaking - though many ofthe older folks find it hard to remember these social restrictions. But as my 90year old neighbour Claudette often says, quoting Victor Hugo "Even the darkestnight will end and the sun will rise"...Bisous from France,JanineEditor of The Good Life France

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