lundi 1 mai 2006

Yay! It is May Day, one of my favorite holidays of the year. I love this month because it is normally not too hot, not too cold, and lots of pretty flowers. Plus, we are getting married this month!

It is a holiday for all of France. Last week we got a flyer saying that there would be a party for this quartier in the square in front of the church. I bought tickets last week, 16 euros each. A little expensive, but I figured it was good to support the community. I managed to knock over an entire display of handcreams in the process of buying tickets, but at least nothing was broken.
So we went to the square at around 12. There were tents set up and a DJ getting ready. It was 98% elderly people, but they all seemed friendly. I danced two dances with an elderly gentleman who assured Alain that it was "not for love, just for friendship." :)
From L'Atelier Vert

But in a country where going on strikes is a national pastime and the left--if delusional--remains somewhat a force to be reckoned with, the Fête du Travail is sacrosanct. Besides, it kicks off the merry month of May, which in France is all the merrier for having more official holidays (thus, time off work) than any other month. With the Fête du Travail, and the Catholic holidays of Ascension and Pentecôte all being official national holidays and thus mandatory days off, the national preoccupation becomes "making the bridge" between the official day off and the nearest weekend. Making the bridge (faire le pont) means scheming to take yet another day or two off to connect the official holiday with the weekend and thus being able to leave town for a real mini-vacation.

Well, this month, May 1st and 8th both fall on Mondays, and the 25th is a Thursday. And, in all fairness to the French, I think there is a quite a bit of fairing le pont in other countries when a holiday falls between Tuesday and Thursday.
Anyway, we started of with Kir, an alcoholic drink similar to wine. Then we sat down and waited forever for the paella,
a rice, vegetable, and meat/seafood dish. There were shrimp, mussels, calamari, and what I like to think were beef, chicken, and ham in the dish. We danced some, but nothing to compared with the waltzes, tangos, and passo doubles going on next to us. We had some cheese and french apple pie (open faced) and then left around 2. (Below: Because every dog likes a good waltz.)
Happy May Day!

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