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what's happening 1st and 8th may??


Frank

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Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone out there knows what is important about the 1st and 8th of may. The shops etc are closed on both days and I have seen cards for the 1st May, is it a special fete and if so what are the traditions and expectations?? I only ask as I don't want to offend our French friends by ignoring what may be a special day in their calendar. many thanks in advance[:D]

Kimberley

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1st of May - May Bank holiday.  8th May - something the younger generation in the UK do not know - Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).  Taken very seriously in France with most communes saluting the fallen in the cemetary followed by a meal at the Salle des Fete.  Also commemorate the fallen on Armistice Day.
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[quote user="Chezstevens"]8th May - something the younger generation in the UK do not know - Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).  Taken very seriously in France with most communes saluting the fallen in the cemetary followed by a meal at the Salle des Fete. [/quote]

Or alternatively, a quick speech at the Monument aux Morts, then a quick glass of local plonk and a few crisps at the Mairie for the 50 or so out of the population of 2000 who bother to turn up!  

And 40 out of the 50 who do turn up will be over 60.

And the speech won't mention any country other than France.

But hey, it's a holiday, I get to see my husband and son!  [:)] 

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[quote user="SaligoBay"]

[quote user="Chezstevens"]8th May - something the younger generation in the UK do not know - Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).  Taken very seriously in France with most communes saluting the fallen in the cemetary followed by a meal at the Salle des Fete. [/quote]

Or alternatively, a quick speech at the Monument aux Morts, then a quick glass of local plonk and a few crisps at the Mairie for the 50 or so out of the population of 2000 who bother to turn up!  

And 40 out of the 50 who do turn up will be over 60.

And the speech won't mention any country other than France.

But hey, it's a holiday, I get to see my husband and son!  [:)] 

[/quote]

Certainly in our commune the mayor takes it very seriously.  Normally a child lays the flowers - our firstborn did it a few years ago and understands why it is done.  Afterwards there is a slap up meal costing 18 euros for adults - never an empty place.

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[quote user="Chas"]Don't know if it's national but locally 1 May is also Fete des muguets - bunches of lily of the valley exchanged as gifts and a Brocante des muguets in the village.[/quote]

Same here, muguets (lily of the valley) is traditionally given as a gift, usually to women, on the 1st May.  Our Amicale Laique (can't do the double dot above the i) organise a sale of muguets each year.

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[quote user="Dick Smith"]Be fair, the UK ones don't mention France, and rarely mention the Empire...
[/quote]

But somehow I grew up thinking that Remembrance Day was for everyone who died in the war.  I don't remember it being just for British soldiers.   Or maybe that was just my interpretation?

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[quote user="SaligoBay"]

[quote user="Dick Smith"]Be fair, the UK ones don't mention France, and rarely mention the Empire...
[/quote]

But somehow I grew up thinking that Remembrance Day was for everyone who died in the war.  I don't remember it being just for British soldiers.   Or maybe that was just my interpretation?

[/quote]

That will be 11 November then.  French also celebrate 8 May, as a european event.

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We just happened to be in Huelgoat house hunting when they were unveiling a new war memorial a couple of years ago and the mayor was very keen on us attending the ceremony as they were honouring both French and British soldiers, considering the number of Brits that live around there it was strange that we were the only ones there and we were only visiting [:)]

 

We were going to a French friends house in Normandy last May and he stopped on the way there to buy lilies of the valley for his wife

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[quote user="SaligoBay"]8th May.  I know, I go to both.  Every year, without fail.  My papa adoptif is an Algeria veteran, he does the speeches.   Both days seem to be exactly the same thing. [/quote]

Us too. In fact this 8th May my FIL (aged 87) will be presented with a medal.  He is usually the only decorated one there and a huge fuss was made of him last time - he was plied with a little too much whisky after though !

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