Thursday, 1 November 2012


The Catholic feast day of All Saints (Toussaint) is celebrated each year on the first of November and, as its name suggests, it honours all saints.

In France it is a national holiday and the custom has developed of also remembering on that day family and friends who have died. Traditionally they were commemorated on the second of November, All Souls' Day (Commémoration des Fidèles Défunts).

Time and convenience (and no doubt the national holiday)  have in some ways linked the two separate feast days. Nowadays on November 1st it is customary to visit the graves of friends and relations, taking pots of chrysanthemums, which symbolise a happy life after death.

As we walked through the village and past the cemetery today cars were coming and going with families bringing their chrysanthemums. These are on sale in all the supermarkets, nurseries, florists and stalls by the roadside prior to the feast.

L'Eclerc had a fine display yesterday...

Richelieu celebrated with a Brocante but unfortunately someone forgot to tell the weather. One optimistic stall holder had placed a deck chair centre stage but we didn't see any takers!

Nor would we have any use for these watering cans today... which is just as well, considering the asking price!

There were a couple of things to brighten the gloomy weather. One was this fine pair of urns, which we thought someone might like - though it wasn't going to be us.....

And then there were these two cheerful cherubs...

Were we tempted? Would you have been..?

1 comment:

Susan said...

Chrysanths are a newish tradition too. The old tradition is to take box sprigs, first to be blessed in the church and then to the cemetery. People here still do that, along with the 'mums. We get a good view of the newly colourful cemetery at this time of year from our spare bedroom window.