Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jour de Ferié: Toussaint


We have a jour de ferié (holiday) today:  Toussaint (All Saints).

For the European countries in which Catholicism reigns, the first of November is set aside to honor all saints.  As far as I can gather, that means all of 'em - past, present and future.  On this day, the faithful send a little shout out to all of those souls who live in the bliss of charitable and merciful comportment day in and day out.  Blessed be those souls who....

Although it is not to be confused with the day set aside to commemorate all of the faithful departed (which is tomorrow, 2 November), that is exactly what ends up happening.  In France, this first day of November is a catch-all day and cemeteries across the land grouille (teem) with people taking the holiday to attend special masses...


 ...and honor friends and family who've passed on by leaving pots of flowers at grave sites.



 
Some sites have porcelain perennials as a commemoration...


...while others are donned with pots of chrysamthemums - a traditional symbol of loss, death and grief in France...


...which one can pick up conveniently at businesses strategically located at the entrances of the cemetery...here...


...and here...


Note:  Because the chrysanthemum flower is recognized in France as a symbol of mourning, it is considered to be ...hmmmm....how to say?...rather bad form to show up at a dinner party with a lovely pot of these autumn-y blooms for the hostess.  In fact, the only house you want to show up at carrying a colorful pot of chrysanthemums would be one like this...and even so, for the most part, you're likely to do that only on this ferié de Toussaint.


Enjoy your day, wherever you may be...holiday or not!


Uploaded by velik6086 on May 14, 2007

Ciao,
leslie

4 comments:

Boho Farm and Home said...

I was just reading an email from our friends in Ugine remembering when they first moved to France from the States and brought their neighbors mums. Now every All Saints Day this memory always comes back to them. One's culture is so interesting to me and how we don't even realize how much it effects us.
Have a wonderful day!
Caroline

Virginia said...

Lovely post dear. Thanks for the heads up about the mums too! I should have posted that Passy shot today instead of earlier this week!
V

Kris said...

Isn't it interesting the different cultures and what is considered proper etiquette and what is not?

Mums would seem to be a perfect gift to give someone, say, who invited you to dinner. I never knew that!

Kris

la fourchette said...

Caroline, I have a few enduring memories of my own that come back to haunt me year after year...oh wait...you didn't say that these memories haunt your friends, did you?! ooops! Perhaps that's just the effect of my collection of gaffes - which, by the way, does not include taking mums to someone as a gift. Whew! But let me tell you...the other things I've done?!? Haunting, I tell you!

Virginia, Thank you, chèrie! I enjoyed your Passy shot - on any day...and yes, note to self on the mums for your next trip to l'hexagon!

Kris, Oh man, I'm tellin' you! You have *no* idea until you dive into another culture what it's like to live without a map - or a code! Do I have stories to tell!!

Bonne nuit à tous!
leslie

You migh also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...