If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Félicitations, Bernadette Ryan! Yay! You are the winner of Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat from the giveaway we talked about here two weeks ago.
Bernadette, I know you are going to feel this story is as gripping as I found it! Please email me your contact information and Liza Perrat will get in touch with you. Thanks to everyone else who joined in the fun and, with ebooks so reasonably priced, you might want to pop online and pick up your own copy.
And … yes, Bernadette … you were absolutely correct when you identified the photo in question as Place de la Mairie in beautiful Roussillon! You know your Provence!
I love that village and so did the women on our Womens Travel Network tours last summer. We will be spending a day there again on our 2015 tour. Who’s coming with us? I’ve written a short post about the tours in the latest edition of my favourite website The Good Life France. Click right here to see it.
If you entered the other giveaway of Wolfsangel that was in my newsletter, you’ve still got a chance! I hope to send the letter off by the end of next week and want to thank Liza for donating two copies of her novel. It’s such a pleasure to give away books!
LA TOUSSAINT – On November 1, this bank holiday was observed throughout France.
All Saints Day, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead ~ A special day to remember the deceased, this holiday is recognized in many countries around the world. The roots of the celebration of Hallowe’en began with this holiday, but that’s another story.
Today we’re talking about chrysanthemums ~ les chrysanthèmes in France. The appearance of these bright blooms in Canada is one of the signals that autumn is on the way. We love to plant them in our gardens and fill our patio planters with them as the summer annuals begin to fade away. Often we bring them as hostess gifts at this time of year. Please don’t do this in France because these blooms are known as the flower of the dead. Their symbolism is very special.
Markets are full of these colourful plants and roadside stands trade the melons of summer for pots of les chrysanthèmes, which families leave in cemeteries to honour the deceased. I’m not certain how the tradition began but these fall-blooming flowers were first left on the graves of World War One soldiers and the tradition has continued. Cemeteries throughout the country flow with colour for weeks after this special day.
The traditional flower of la Toussaint. Do you plant ‘mums’ in your garden or put pots of them on your patios in autumn? I do!
Let’s all say bienvenue and welcome back to my friend Margo Lestz, who lives in Nice. She’s been traveling for a few months and is back posting on her blog, The Curious Rambler. Her site has been given a brand new makeover and looks fantastique! Her posts are always informative and entertaining … pop over and visit!
Bon weekend tout le monde!
‘Chrysanths’ are among the few flowers I dislike. They are always included here – at whatever time of year – in cheap(ish) bunches of flowers at petrol stations and so forth. And I haven’t been able to discover why it’s chrysanthemums or nothing in France, and apparently throughout much of Catholic Europe at la Toussaint. Does anyone know?
Patricia Sands says
Margaret, I hear you. It seems this is a plant that people either love or they don’t. I like how they brighten up fading fall gardens in Canada that otherwise begin to look sadly barren … a harbinger of a long winter to come! I couldn’t find any particular reason why this tradition began, apart from the fact they are long-lasting and fall blooming. I will ask my friend Margo Lestz, who always knows the most interesting details about life in France. Stay tuned!
Congratulations to Bernadette!
Love this post about the mums; I wrote on the same topic on November 1. See you soon, Patricia.
Patricia Sands says
Thanks, Evelyne! But more importantly, what wonderful news that you have published your second YA novel ~ Chronicles From Château Moines. It sounds like another excellent story for young (and not so young) readers! I popped over to your blog to read about it and then went back to read your post about la Toussaint. I’m trying to find out if there is a specific reason why ‘mums’ became the flower for that day. Do you think it is just because they bloom in the fall or is there another reason?
Congrats to the winner!
My gals loves mums. It’s one of her favorite flowers.