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Archive for the 'French Holidays' Category

To Do or not to Do on the Beach in France

Learn some French basic phrases to fully enjoy your holidays in France!

Voilà l’été! Ok, not yet…We are only in June but the months of July and August are highly awaited by many, because it is vacation time!

Do French people like to go to the beach?

Many people take their summer vacations so they can go to the beach. French people usually spend a weekend or even as long as three weeks at the beach.

So if I wanted to go to the beach in France, where should I go?

The most fashionable beaches are on the:

  • English Channel: Cherbourg, Honfleur…
  • Atlantic ocean: Biarritz, Saint Jean du luz…
  • Mediterranean sea: Cannes, Nice, Marseilles…
  • These are the main sea resorts in France, and the destination usually depends on what people want to do.

    The Atlantic side, especially Biarritz, where the waves are big, and it is a surfing spot. There is a famous surfing competition there every summer. All of the Atlantic coast is great for jetskiing.

    For partying, the French Riviera along the Mediterranean sea is the best. Oui, you can enjoy private beach parties with famous international DJs and if you are lucky, you can make VIP friends who will invite you to night parties on luxury yachts.

    For a family vacation, the north is the place to go if you don’t mind stone beaches and cooler water. The Atlantic is also nice. But be wary of the tides when you go to the beach because in France, they are as fast as a horse running. I don’t know if your horse runs but “tides” in French is les marées.

    Are French beaches free?

    Most of them are free, but you may have to pay to go to private beaches.

    What should you eat on the beach? Cheese?

    No, we don’t eat cheese! We eat chouchous. Chouchou are peanuts with caramel. There is a guy who yells: chouchou, chouchou! Many people want to sell you things on the beach. Don’t hesitate to ignore them or just say “I don’t speak French” with an American accent, and they will not bother you again!

    What about attitude ?

    Try to not to be loud and noisy. Don’t play music with a sound system as there will be probably one on the beach.

    What are some other recommendations?

    Keep an eye on your stuff on the beach. Don’t leave your bag alone. French people are nice but you never know!

    Learn some French basic phrases to fully enjoy your holidays in France!

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    French Culture - Assumption of Mary/Assomption

    The Roman Catholic faith recognizes the Assumption of Mary as their customary belief that the Virgin Mary was taken up to heaven physically after her death. It is believed that Mary’s body and soul underwent a unification process and was then transported into the heavens.

    The Assumption of Mary became a day of feasting in celebration of the return of Mary to the heavenly realm. For those who celebrate this festival on August 15th of each year, it is a holy day of their obligations to their faith.

    The Roman Catholic and Christian Orthodox believe that Jesus’ promise that he would go away and prepare a place for his disciples and come back again to receive them into glory, was also referring to Mary’s entrance into the heavens. There are others that don’t believe this dogma and feel that Christ was only referring to his death and resurrection through the cross.

    The word Assumption in the Latin language means “taken up,” and was adopted into the Roman Catholic faith in the fifth century as part of the pledge made by Jesus to fulfill the heavenly ascension of Mary.

    The Assumption of Mary became an established tradition and teaching in the church even throughout the seventh century. It continues to be a theological controversy of historical propensity and the church has not totally embraced its teaching.

    There are still questions today if Mary died before her Assumption or if she was assumed before her death. The Roman Catholic allow both of these beliefs to be considered. The Assumption of Mary is believed to be a gift from God to believers that Mary was the “Mother of God.”

    There are those who believe that Mary finished her life as an example to the human race and made an impact on people who truly believe in God and the role that Christ played when he was on earth.

    The Assumption of Mary is considered to be Mary’s heavenly birthday celebrated by many Catholics every year on August 15th. Her assumption symbolizes the fact that all Christians who endured until the end would experience the same fate as Mary did – ascending to heaven.

    French Culture - Bastille Day

    Each year the French celebrate their national holiday known as Bastille Day and also called Fete Nationale on the fourteenth of July. In July 1789, the prison in Paris was known as the Bastille and held only seven prisoners at the time.

    However, during the French Revolution, the prison was stormed (Storming of the Bastille) and became a symbol of the modern nation’s uprising and the reunion of the French in the monarchy.

    A year later, the anniversary of this momentous occasion was held to recognize the milestone reached after such occurrence.

    The celebrations are held in the morning on the fourteenth of July each year in the presence of the President of the Republic in Champs Elysees Avenue located in Paris.

    The opening of the parade starts with the cadets and infantry troops. The French allies are usually invited to the ceremony as a form of common courtesy. In the past, British troops were invited to lead the parade.

    One of the traditions is to have the students at École Polytechnique work on setting up some type of joke or prank to play.

    Usually, the President of the Republic would be available to the press for interview to discuss the current economic situation of the country as well as future projects that were in the pipeline.

    The celebration continues with a party in the Palais de l’Elysee with the President in attendance.

    This national holiday is usually ongoing during the Tour de France and the French riders use this as an impetus to work harder to win as many medals for France.

    On that day, the constitution allows the President the authority to give pardon to people that have committed mild offences.

    Bastille Day depicts the way that the French felt about the ending of the Revolution and July 14th reminds them of how fortunate they are that the uprising of the monarchy was not long lived.

    The initial celebration in 1790 was a big event with fireworks and a feast that lasted for four days. Since then the French carry on the tradition for one day, but do so with a festive parade.

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn French together!

    And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study French with!

    Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

    From Celine, Sam, Angele and the whole Team!