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A Very Cultural Weekend: European Heritage Days

What are the most prominent cultural facets of your country? How do you commemorate or celebrate them, if at all?

In France, the European Heritage Days are a manifestation nationale (“national event”) set aside for exploring French culture and history. From free wine tastings and tours to elaborate music festivals, there’s an experience for everyone! 

In this article, you’ll learn all about European Heritage Days and pick up some useful vocabulary. Let’s get started!

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1. What are the European Heritage Days?

miniature French flags hung on a line near a lamp post for European Heritage Days

European Heritage Days, (also called European Heritage “Open” Days), are an annuelle (“annual”) celebration of the unique heritage each European country possesses. The Ministère de la Culture Française (“French Ministry of Cultural Affairs”) launched this celebration in 1984 at the initiative of Minister Jack Lang, and many other European countries soon followed suit. Today, under the Council of Europe and European Commission, every state in the European Cultural Convention celebrates a form of Heritage Day. 

Still, perhaps no European country has a more substantial celebration as France. At the time of this writing, there are forty-two UNESCO World Heritage sites in France alone, and over 400,000 protected monuments and sites. Add to that the country’s intensive history, magnificent foods and wines unmatched the world over, and the lovely French language. It should come as no surprise that this holiday has met with such success, drawing in millions of tourists each year. 

To keep the excitement alive, the European Heritage Days Assembly announces a special theme for the holiday each year. In 2020, the theme is going to be “Heritage and Education.”

2. The Date of EHD Every Year

The European Heritage Days begin during the third weekend of September. For your convenience, following is a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2020: September 19 to September 20
  • 2021: September 18 to September 19
  • 2022: September 17 to September 18
  • 2023: September 16 to September 17
  • 2024: September 21 to September 22
  • 2025: September 20 to September 21
  • 2026: September 19 to September 20
  • 2027: September 18 to September 19
  • 2028: September 16 to September 17
  • 2029: September 15 to September 16

3. Traditions & Celebrations for European Heritage Days

a child looking at paintings in a museum

France is crowded for European Heritage Days, especially in areas that are already significant tourist hotspots (a.k.a. Paris).

This is because museums and certain historical sites that are typically closed year-round are open to the public over the weekend to promote cultural education. European Heritage Days in Paris means gratuit (“free”) entry into a number of major sites—an opportunity you can’t miss! 

Schools often take advantage of this holiday to educate their students on the cultural marvels of France. Museums host free European Heritage Days tours for school groups on the Friday prior, giving students and teachers the opportunity to explore and learn without the hassle of large crowds.

For European Heritage Days, Paris also provides an array of culture-oriented workshops and guided tours for the general public. Examples include a stroll through a cemetery, a walk-and-talk with a major academic, and the chance to win prizes and exclusive tours! 

    → See our list of the Top 10 Weekend Activities to learn how else the French might spend the weekend (because who likes crowds?). 

4. Visiting? Here are Some Must-See Places.

a tourist taking a photograph

There are a couple of places we highly recommend you visit if you’ll be in France for the holiday weekend.

Bercy Village

Bercy Village is known for its old-fashioned charm, combined with its penchant for modern architecture. 

In Bercy Village, European Heritage Days are the perfect chance to explore the green fields of Bercy Park, the Ministère de l’économie de l’industrie et de l’emploi (open exclusively for this weekend), and the gorgeous cafes and outdoor shopping stalls. 

In 2020, Bercy Village will also have a unique flower presentation all summer long, ending in mid-October. 

Bordeaux 

During the European Heritage Days, Bordeaux is the place to go to watch grape-harvesting ceremonies, attend music festivals, and sip on wine while taking night tours of a castle. (Yes, you read that right.)

You can read more about what to expect in Bordeaux here, and learn The Top Tourist Attractions in France with FrenchPod101.com. 

5. Essential EHD Vocabulary

French Ministry of Cultural Affairs

Let’s review some of the vocabulary words and phrases from this article: 

  • Museum – Musée [noun, masculine]
  • Country – Pays [noun, masculine]
  • National event – Manifestation nationale
  • Annual – Annuelle [adjective]
  • Fifty – Cinquante [adjective, masculine]
  • Open day – Journée portes ouvertes [feminine]
  • Historical monument – Monument historique [masculine]
  • French Ministry of Cultural Affairs – Ministère de la Culture Française [masculine]
  • End of August – Fin août [feminine]
  • Beginning of November – Début novembre [masculine]
  • Free – Gratuit [adjective]

Remember that you can hear the pronunciation of each word on our French European Heritage Days vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

What do you say? Are wine tastings, flowers in the sky, and free museum entry enough to convince you to visit France? Let us know in the comments!

Before you head out, though, you’ll need to have some basic French knowledge:

To learn even more about French culture and holidays, see the following blog posts on FrenchPod101.com, or visit the archive:

We hope to see you around!

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How to Write a Resume in French – French CV Guide

Have you ever dreamed of living and working in France? If you’ve read the first part of this guide about How to Find Jobs in France, you already know why: It’s not just the elegant charm of the City of Love or the amazing cheesy meals of the Savoie. It’s also the numerous advantages of working for a French company and benefiting from our labor laws.

But how do you go about writing a resume in French or creating a French CV? 

In the first chapter, you’ve seen that there are many job opportunities for foreigners. You’ve also learned what kind of work you can find in France, and how to search for it using a wide range of job-hunting tools and resources. Now that you know how to find a job, let’s see how to get that job! 

This guide will go through everything you need to know to land your dream job, from the application process with a French resume, to the specifics of the job interview and the perks of the local working culture.

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1. How to Apply for a Job

Mug on a desk

J’aime mon travail. (“I love my job”)

1- Create Your French-Style Resume

The French resume is called CV for “Curriculum Vitæ” and doesn’t differ too much from its North American counterpart. But there are a few things you need to know to make it perfect! First, here’s a French CV example:


Raoul DUPONT (1)……………………………………………………………………….. (2)
raoul.dupont@frenchmail.fr

25 rue de la corniche 75001 Paris
+33 601010101

Guide Touristique Certifié – Trilingue (3)

__________ Expérience Professionnelle (4)
Juin 2012 – Décembre 2015 ………Conseiller Voyage – Belle-Aventure, Evry (France)
Janvier 2016 – Mai 2019 …………….Guide Touristique – CoolTrip, Montréal (Canada)

__________ Formation (5)
2015 – 2017 ………………………………………….MBA Tourisme International, Paris 8

__________ Compétences (6)
  • Trilingue : Français, Anglais, Russe
  • Notions d’Allemand, Espagnol et Japonais
  • Logiciel TripExpress 2.0
__________ Centres d’intérêt (7)
Voyage, photographie, écriture.
  • (1) Personal information

As you can see from this sample CV in French, all basic contact information goes on the top left corner. Note that the contact information in French resumes can vary from person to person, but these are the basics:

    • Your full name
    • Your age
      You’re allowed to give this information in France, but it’s not mandatory. As this is still a discriminating factor, I would recommend not including it.
    • Physical address

This could be omitted as well. In most cases, it doesn’t really make a difference whether you include it or not. But in some cases, it could work against you if, for example, you’re living remarkably far from the company you’re applying for.

    • Email address
    • Phone number

That’s it! No need to add your IQ, blood type, or astrological sign.

  • (2) Photo or no photo?

Unlike in other countries, it’s perfectly fine to put your photo on your French resume. You can smile, but keep it serious and professional, unless you’re applying in a specific work field where creativity is valued. If you have a photo you would like to use, this would be the place to put it.

However, it’s not mandatory and it’s better not to have a photo than to have a bad one!

  • (3) Give a title to your CV! 

This is often overlooked, but with more and more French companies going through resumes with automated search tools, it’s becoming important. It’s also the line that will stand out when your recruiter opens the resume. 

Ideally, the title of your resume should highlight the most important degree or skill of experience relevant to the job you’re trying to get. For instance, even if you’re a graduate programmer from a top-notch school, don’t make it your title if you’re looking for a job in real-estate!

Here are some examples:

Guide Touristique Certifié – Trilingue (Certified Tour Guide – Trilingual)

Assistant Commercial Immobilier (Real-estate Sales Assistant)

The usual list of sections in a French CV is as follows:

  • (4) Expérience Professionnelle (Work Experience) 

You can mention everything, but only add details when it’s relevant for the job.

  • (5) Formation (Education)
    List your degrees and certifications in chronological order (or reverse), with the years and cities/countries. You might want to put this section first if your work experience section seems short.
  • (6) Compétences (Skills)

The section for skills in French resumes is usually short and is divided into sections, such as Langues (Languages) or Informatique (IT). It’s also a good place to mention your Permis de conduire (Driver’s license).

  • (7) Centres d’intérêts (Personal interests)
    This is not as straightforward as you might think. If you have dangerous or notoriously time-consuming hobbies, better leave them out. I recommend including those that seem to fit with the job you’re applying for or the company’s values.

Take the time to customize your CV for the specific job and company, and of course, make it flawless and easy to read! You’ll find enormous amounts of resources online about how to write a perfect resume. 

Except for what I’ve mentioned above, it should apply to the French CV!

A resume on a desk

Make it flawless and easy to read!

2- The Subtle Art of Cover Letters

The French Lettre de motivation (Literally “Motivation letter,” or “Cover letter” in English) is a delicate exercise of balance. On one hand, it’s highly codified and somewhat artificial; on the other hand, it needs to feel genuine and original enough to catch your reader’s attention. But on a third hand, you can’t be too different, because it’s highly codified! 

Let’s have a look at the unavoidable classics of cover letters and let’s debunk some of the nonsense you might come across while researching about French cover letters online.

First, keep in mind that the French letter is almost never more than one page long.

It should look roughly like this:

Raoul DUPONT (1)
raoul.dupont@frenchmail.fr
+33 601010101
………………………………………………………………………………..MyDreamCompany
……………………………………………………………………………..34 rue des Croissants
…………………………………………………………………………………………75001 Paris

……………………………………………………………………………..A Lille, le 22/09/18 (2)
PJ : Curriculum Vitae (3)
Objet : Candidature au poste de Professeur d’Anglais (Ref #7854) (4)
Madame, Monsieur, (5)
Why am I contacting this company? (6)
What do I have to offer to this company? (7)
Why am I the perfect person for this position? (8)
Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes meilleures salutations. (9)
Raoul Dupont (10)
  • (1) Remind your reader who you are by reusing the personal information from your CV.
  • (2) Put the company name and address, followed by the date and where the present letter is written from.
  • (3) Remind what documents are attached to this letter (most likely your CV).
  • (4) Under Objet (Topic), be perfectly explicit about why you’re writing with a sentence such as Candidature au poste de ____ (Application for the position of ____) followed by the exact name of the position as mentioned in the job offer (if any). If there’s a reference code, you can add it there for extra clarity.
  • (5) If you know the name of your reader, you can use it here. For instance: Monsieur Fontaine, (Mister Fontaine,). Always use the last name (with the proper spelling!).

    Never use Cher Monsieur Fontaine, (Dear Mister Fontaine,). It’s not formal enough. And if you don’t know who’s going to read it, or have any doubts, go for the fool-proof: Madame, Monsieur, (Madam, Mister,).
Man handing someone a bunch of papers

Hold on! The perfect cover letter is only one page long.

Next comes the body of your letter. In France, it’s typically made of three paragraphs, each with a specific purpose:

  • (6) The first one is about your target company: Why are you applying? Why this specific company?

If you’re passionate about it, it’s time to explain why. If not, a bit of hypocrisy doesn’t hurt—but don’t go too heavy on the soft-soaping! Researching about the company will help you to avoid being too vague.

You can use sentences such as:

 Intégrer la société ___ au poste de ___ m’attire tout particulièrement pour ___. 

“Joining the ___ company in a position of ___ is especially tempting because ___.”

  • (7) The second paragraph is about you, and more specifically, what you have to offer. Sell yourself without sounding like a bombastic jerk! Always the delicate balance.

You can use sentences such as:

Ma formation en ___ m’a permis d’acquérir de nombreuses compétences en ___.

“During my studies in ___, I developed strong skills in ___.”

  • (8) The last paragraph explains why your personality and unique set of skills make you the perfect candidate for the job. This is where you outshine the competition by keeping the target company above any further temptation of self-glorification. Make it about what you can give them and how you can help them, not just about yourself.

It could include:

___ mettre mes compétences à votre service.

“___ to put my skills at your service.”

But really, there’s no template for this part. Be specific, be genuine, and don’t use empty words just because they sound good.

  • (9) The salutations section is trickier than it seems in a French letter, and you’ll read a lot of garbage about it online, ranging from old-fashioned or submissive to straight-up grammatically incorrect.

My personal favorites are:

Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes meilleures salutations.

Veuillez recevoir, Madame, Monsieur, mes respectueuses salutations.

“Please receive, Madam, Mister, my best / respectful salutations.”

  • (10) Sign here with your full name. If the letter is printed, I like to hand-sign it.

3- Professional Social Networks & Online Reputation

Although French employers aren’t as crazy about LinkedIn as North Americans, your online presence on such networks can absolutely be a plus! The most popular in France are:

  • LinkedIn: A massive network of professionals where you can put your resume, join communities,  and follow the careers of your contacts. Depending on your profile, you may get contacted directly by employers or Headhunters.
  • Viadeo – France: The French cousin of LinkedIn, and although not as popular, it’s preferred by some companies.

Once you have a bright and shiny profile with a stunning photo, it doesn’t hurt to add a link on your resume!

Many yellow figures on a graphic

Réseau social professionnel (“Professional social network”)

If you’re not already registered on one of these networks, take a moment to consider whether it makes sense in the context of your job search. Small local businesses shouldn’t care too much about it, while big corporations will appreciate the extra mile.

One last note: Be careful with what you publicly publish on social networks. More and more frequently, French recruiters are browsing social media to get a better idea of the applicants; thus, displaying controversial opinions or outrageous photos might be unwise!

2. Interviewing for a Job in France

Jobs

You’ve sent a beautiful French-style CV attached to an elegant Lettre de motivation (Cover letter) and you got an appointment to a job interview? Well done! The hardest part is behind you, but you still have to capitalize on your success and land the job! Here’s some information on how to interview in French with prospective employers. 

1- Research! Knowledge is Power

The first thing to do before a job interview in French is to do some serious homework. This is as true in France as it is in any country. Recruiters will gauge your enthusiasm and interest for the company just as much as they will your capacity to fill the position.

  • Research thoroughly about the company. Find out about its history, how it operates, its current contacts, and general health. Anything you find out might come in handy!
  • Research about the position. This involves reading the job offer about a hundred times, researching about professionals who are assuming a similar role on professional social networks, and finding out about the average salary.
  • Research about your recruiter: This is the person you’re about to meet. You don’t want to be a Facebook stalker and compliment him on his beautiful wife, but being aware of his position and role within the company is a plus.

2- How to Ace Your French Job Interview

Assuming that you already know how to conduct a job interview, I’ll mainly cover the specifics of the French culture when it comes to meeting a recruiter on a typical job interview.

1. Greetings – Keep it Formal and Kiss-free!

I know we kiss a lot in France! We do La bise to our friends and family, and during many casual (or even professional!) situations. But you should, under no circumstances, initiate a kiss toward a recruiter during a job interview. Instead, go for a firm handshake, with a smile and confident eye contact.

The usual greetings for a job interview are:

  • Bonjour. (Good day)
  • Bonjour Monsieur. or Bonjour Madame. (Good day mister or madam)
  • Bonjour Monsieur Fontaine. or Bonjour Madame Fontaine., (Using their last name after the greeting)

Pick one depending on the meeting’s level of formality. If your recruiter seems very relaxed and friendly, is wearing an old t-shirt, and opens the conversation on a first name basis, Bonjour Monsieur may be too uptight.

Two office workers shaking hands

You can’t go wrong with a firm handshake.

2. Tu or Vous? Follow Their Lead

In French, you can address a person with one of two types of “you.” Tu is the casual “you” while Vous is for formal and professional encounters.

In the context of a job interview, always open with Vous. Then, if your interlocutor wants to switch to Tu, simply follow their lead. But most interviews are conducted with the Vous from start to finish.

Some examples are:

  • Comment allez-vous ? (How are you doing?)
  • Ravi de vous rencontrer. (Nice to meet you.)

3. Classic French Questions & Answers

Job interview phrases

Unlike other countries, where you can warm up with a bit of small talk, French recruiters usually have a no-chit-chat policy. They’ll cut straight to the chase and start asking questions. 

Also, be prepared to be asked about what you may consider to be personal topics, such as your marital status, kids, or hobbies. This is perfectly acceptable in France!

Here are some of the most common questions asked during a job interview, so you can prepare and think about how to answer them:

  • Parlez-moi de votre expérience professionnelle.
    “Tell me about your job history.”
  • Parlez moi de vos études.
    “Tell me about your studies.”
    Quels sont vos diplômes ?
    “What degrees do you have?”
    Quel est votre parcours scolaire?
    “What is your educational background?”
  • Que savez-vous sur notre entreprise ?
    “What do you know about our company?”
  • Pourquoi pensez-vous être un bon candidat pour ce poste ?

“What makes you think you are a good fit for this position?”

  • Pourquoi pensez-vous que nous devrions vous embaucher ?
    “Why do you think we should hire you?”

  • Quelles langues parlez-vous ?
    “Which languages do you speak?”
    Quel est votre niveau en Anglais ?
    “What is your level in English?”
    Parlez-vous couramment Anglais ?
    “Are you fluent in English?”
  • Quand seriez vous disponible pour commencer ?
    “When could you start working with us?”
  • Quelles sont vos prétentions salariales ?
“What kind of salary are you expecting?”

“What kind of salary are you expecting?”

  • Quelles sont vos forces ? Votre principal défaut ?
    “What are your strengths? Your biggest flaw?”
  • Pourquoi avez-vous quitté votre dernier emploi ?
    “Why did you leave your previous job?”
    Pourquoi souhaitez-vous quitter votre employeur actuel ?
    “Why do you wish to leave your current employer?”
Interviewer and interviewee

Quels sont vos diplômes ? (“What degrees do you have?”)

3. French Work Culture

1- A Strong Work Ethic

The French work culture is by no means perfect, but I want to highlight some of its strengths as well as the kind of qualities you’ll have to develop if you want to thrive in this environment.

  • French employees have a reputation for being hard workers. You may smile after reading about our avalanche of days off and our 35-hour weeks, but you want to make the best of these hours. You want to end up being more productive than you would be if you were sleep-working sixty hours a week while ruminating on your unpaid overtime.
  • Autonomy and creativity are highly regarded qualities in a French company. You’re expected to be technically proficient and to quickly learn how to handle yourself without constant supervision. Collective work is still a thing, but your individual performance is more important than in some other countries.
  • Having a critical mind isn’t seen as an annoying flaw of character, but as an important asset. It’s perfectly fine, and even encouraged, to comment and criticize the work and ideas of your colleagues as long as you’re bringing value to the table. This critique-based approach can put you off if you’re used to more agreeable work cultures, but it’s for the greater good!

2- A Friendly Work Environment

Although very vocal with their critiques, French workers tend to keep their work environment as friendly and relaxed as possible. It’s not to say that you can’t end up in horrible, hostile work environments, as it happens in any country; but overall, the French are very relational with their peers. 

You’re likely to develop strong bonds with your coworkers that extend way beyond your workplace and last much longer than your employment period.

  • Lunchtime is serious business! No, really. Lunchtime in the middle of your work day can easily take up to two hours, but it’s not just casual conversation and joyful wine-tasting: Many work-related discussions happen over lunch, and business deals are frequently signed over a cheese platter!
    Don’t get me wrong. French lunches ALSO have casual conversations and glassfulls of wine. Hard to go back to your quick sandwich lunch after that.
  • After-hours mingling also takes an important part in the workplace social life of many companies. It’s common to go for a drink after a hard day of labor, and one beer leading to the next, you might spend more time with your coworkers than with your spouse!
People looking at a laptop

Connecting with your colleagues.

4. How FrenchPod101.com Can Help You Get a Job in France

In this guide, you’ve learned how to expertly craft your French CV and cover letter in order to apply for a job in France, as well as how to handle yourself during the job interview. Do you feel ready to go job-hunting and make friends in your new workplace? How about to create a French CV and interview with your potential employer?

FrenchPod101.com has tons of free vocabulary lists with audio recordings that can help you prepare for your interview:

And much more!

If your job interview is conducted in French (and in most cases, it will be), the best way to maximize your chances of landing the job is to carefully prepare yourself for the interview.

A good exercise is to ask yourself the typical questions for a French job interview and try to write down your answers using all of the free resources that you can find on FrenchPod101. It will make you much more confident when it comes time for your interview!

Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching and have your private teacher check your answers to make them perfect!

The French Celebration of Armistice Day

How do the French celebrate Armistice Day, and why?

Armistice Day in French culture is one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays. It commemorates the end of WWI, during which France suffered heavy losses. In this article, you’ll learn about his significant public holiday in France, and about French Armistice Day traditions.

At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Armistice Day?

Cease-Fire Flag

If you know French history, you might know that November 11, 1918, is an important date for French people. In fact, it is a public holiday. This is the date of an armistice, a convention signed by several governments in order to stop combat between their armies. This armistice marked the end of World War I.

World War I was a military conflict that mostly took place in Europe between 1914 and 1918. It was a traumatic war for France, because it was the most heavily affected country, with 1.4-million people dead. It ended when the English, French, and Germans signed the armistice of November 11, 1918.

The last French soldier of WWI, Lazare Ponticelli, died on January 20, 2008, at the age of 110. After his death, it was decided that November 11 should no longer be a commemoration of the soldiers who fought in the First World War, but rather a commemoration of all of the French soldiers who have died during service.

2. French Armistice Day Celebrations & Traditions

A Parade

How do the French mark Armistice Day? What do the French do on Armistice Day?

On each November 11, the President of the French Republic conducts a ritual in order to commemorate this date. He lays a tricolored sheaf in front of the tomb of Georges Clémenceau as a symbol of victory in the Great War. Then, escorted by the Cavalry of the Republican Guard, he goes back up the Champs-Élysées and reviews the troops on Charles-de-Gaulle Square. Finally, he engages in private prayer in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe.

Small ceremonies are organized each year in French cities and towns. Usually, they consist of musicians—marching bands, for example—who play some music. French people can go and watch these concerts, which are generally free.

During this public holiday, the President of the Republic wears the Bleuet de France pinned to his buttonhole, as do some other French people. This French flower for Armistice Day symbolizes the support and the solidarity of France to its veterans, widows, and orphans.

3. Brave & Reckless

Do you know what nickname was given to the French soldiers from the First World War?

The French soldiers from the First World War were nicknamed poilus. At the time, the word poilu could mean, in the familiar language, somebody who was courageous and manly. To nickname the French soldiers poilu indicated that they were brave and reckless.

4. Must-Know Vocabulary for Armistice Day in France

Armistice Day Memorial

Here’s the essential vocabulary you should know for Armistice Day in France!

  • Armistice de la Première Guerre mondiale — “Armistice Day”
  • Combat — “Fight”
  • Parade — “Parade”
  • Première Guerre mondiale — “World War I”
  • Trêve — “Truce”
  • Solennel — “Solemn”
  • Tombe du soldat inconnu — “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”
  • Mémorial — “Memorial”
  • Cessez-le-feu — “Cease-fire”
  • Accord — “Agreement”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and see them accompanied by relevant images, be sure to visit our French Armistice Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about French Armistice Day with us, and that you learned something new. Does your country also have celebrations for the end of World War I? Let us know in the comments!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the most rewarding and entertaining aspect of trying to master its language. If more cultural information is what you’re after, be sure to check out the following pages on FrenchPod101.com:

We know that learning a new language is a monumental task, but you can do it! Practice, consistency, and the proper learning materials can get you from beginner to fluent before you know it. And FrenchPod101.com will be here with you on each step of your language-learning journey! Create a free lifetime account today.

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Celebrating French Food & Cuisine: French Gastronomy Day

Have you ever savored traditional French cuisine, paired with some of the best French wine available? You haven’t really lived until you have.

Truly, French cuisine dishes have taken the world by storm, along with the country’s fascinating food culture. It should be no surprise, then, that the French honor this each year on French Gastronomy Day.

In this article, you’ll learn a little bit about French gastronomy history, what food means to the French, and how people like to celebrate! At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative—and we think you’ll agree that food is a good place to start!

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1. What is French Gastronomy Day?

First of all, what is French gastronomy?

Gastronomy is the art of making good food. In France, gastronomy may be defined as the art of the table combined with the pleasure of eating. The “French gastronomic meal,” with its rituals and presentation, was listed in 2010 as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. French people do indeed have a typical way of eating and matching food with wine, with a succession of dishes and a specific way of setting the table.

Launched in 2011 by Madame Sylvia Pinel, Minister of Craftsmanship, Commerce and Tourism, Gastronomy Day strives to celebrate the expertise, tradition and innovation of French gastronomy. This holiday has many goals. First of all, to promote French cuisine all over the world, and to make it a matter of tourism. But it also seeks to promote public awareness of the diversity of regions and products, as well as the many careers that have to do with gastronomy.

Do you know about the Michelin Guide? It’s one of the oldest and most famous gastronomic guides in the world. After investigations by inspectors from the Guide, restaurants get stars, which are labels of quality, with three being the highest. France is the country with the second most stars!

2. When is Gastronomy Day?

Gastronomy Day in September

Each year, France celebrates Gastronomy Day during the first week of autumn.

3. Popular Gastronomy Day Celebrations

Every year, a theme is chosen for the holiday in order to vary possibilities. Events such as amateur cooking contests are organized. All regions of France celebrate this event, but it may actually be more popular in other countries than it is in France! Countries such as South Africa, Japan, and Canada have participated in this tasty event.

This holiday is still recent, and isn’t well-known by most French people. However, its success is growing: ninety-eight French departments have celebrated this event and more than 75,000 professionals have participated.

4. Famous French Dishes

Dishes of Different Foods

If you know about French cuisine, can you name three famous French dishes?

French cuisine has numerous different dishes, so there is a wide possibility of choices! For example, the macaron, foie gras, and old-fashioned blanquette de veau are three French dishes that are famous all over the world.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Gastronomy Day in France

Two Glasses of Wine

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Gastronomy Day in France!

  • Septembre — “September”
  • Vin — “Wine”
  • Repas — “Meal”
  • Quatrième — “Fourth”
  • Festival — “Festival”
  • Français — “French”
  • Cuisine — “Cuisine”
  • Week-end — “Weekend”
  • Diversité — “Diversity”
  • Thème — “Theme”
  • International — “International”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Gastronomy Day vocabulary list!

How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Become a Master of French Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about the beauty of French gastronomy with us! Before you go, we have to know: What’s your favorite French food or dish? Your favorite French wine? We look forward to hearing from you!

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How to Celebrate Grandmother’s Day in France

For many, a grand-mère (“grandmother”) is a relative of unparalleled consideration and admiration. This is as true in France as it is in numerous countries around the world. Grandmother’s are so loved and respected that the French have dedicated a day just to celebrate them!

By learning about Grandmother’s Day in France, you’re also glimpsing a unique aspect of the country’s culture. From the commercial origin of this holiday to how it’s celebrated today, Grandmother’s Day in France is a reflection of both history and the present. And to think it all started with coffee

Let FrenchPod101.com guide you through the details of National Grandma Day!

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1. What is Grandmother’s Day in France?

In France, Grandmother’s Day is celebrated to honor grandmothers and show them the love they always shower us with. Grandma’s Day was first celebrated in France in 1987, and has grown since then into the holiday it is today.

2. When is Grandmother’s Day?

Grandmother's Day is on a Sunday

When is Grandmother’s Day? The date of Grandmother’s Day varies slightly each year in France, though it’s always on the first Sunday of March. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 3
  • 2020: March 1
  • 2021: March 7
  • 2022: March 6
  • 2023: March 5
  • 2024: March 3
  • 2025: March 2
  • 2026: March 1
  • 2027: March 7
  • 2028: March 5

3. How is Grandma’s Day Celebrated?

Granddaughter Kissing Grandmother's Cheek

National Grandmother Day celebrations in France are all done in honor of one’s grandmother. Find out how the French celebrate this heartwarming holiday by reading the French text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).
—–
Les enfants créent donc à l’école des cadeaux pour leurs mamies et ce, dès la maternelle. C’est l’occasion pour les familles françaises de se retrouver. Les petits-enfants offrent des cadeaux à leurs grands-mères. Les présents les plus populaires sont les bouquets de fleurs ou les plantes, comme les orchidées . Une étude réalisée par les fleuristes français a montré que cette fête avait un impact significatif sur la vente des végétaux d’intérieur.

Durant cette journée, des évènements commerciaux ou non, sont organisés dans toute la France.

Par exemple, une “mamif” a lieu place de la Bastille depuis quelques années. Une “mamif” est un mot-valise jouant avec les mots mamie et manifestation. Le but de cet évènement était de réunir les mamies et leur famille.
Les grands-pères sont les grands oubliés du calendrier ! Effectivement, la fête des papis n’existe pas, contrairement à celle des grand-mères… Peut-être faut-il attendre qu’une marque créée cette fête ?

—–

Children create gifts for their grannies at school starting in kindergarten. It’s an occasion for French families to gather. Grandchildren give gifts to their grandmothers. The most popular presents are bouquets of flowers and plants such as orchids. A study carried out by French florists showed that the holiday had a significant impact on the sale of indoor plants.

During this day, events, whether commercial or not, are organized all over France.

For example, a “mamif” has taken place at La Bastille for a few years now. A “mamif” is a portmanteau word that plays upon the words “mamie” (grandma) and “manifestation” (rally). The event is meant to unite grandmas with their family.

Grandfathers are completely forgotten from the calendar! Indeed, “Grandfather’s Day” doesn’t exist, as opposed to Grandmother’s Day… Perhaps we’ll have to wait until a brand creates this holiday?

4. Additional Information

A survey was made of French grandmothers, and do you know what the main motivation for 80% of them is?

In France, there are more than 6 million grandmothers. They are an average of 65 years old and have four grandchildren.

And for 80% of them, the most important thing is to indulge their grandchildren, according to a survey carried out on French grandmas.

This certainly explains why grandparents are often accused of spoiling their grandchildren!

5. Must-know Vocab

Offering Gifts to Grandmother

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for National Grandmother Day in France, including “Grandmother’s Day” in French:

  • Fête des Grands-Mères — “Grandmother’s Day”
  • Dimanche — “Sunday”
  • Mars — “March”
  • Cadeau — “Present”
  • Premier — “First”
  • Annuelle — “Annual”
  • Origine — “Origin”
  • Marque de café — “Coffee brand”
  • Fête commerciale — “Commercialized celebration”
  • Offrir — “Offer”
  • Grand-mère — “Grandmother”
  • Visite — “Visit”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Grandmother’s Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio with its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now you know more about Grandmother’s Day in France. Do you celebrate Grandmother’s Day in your own country, or a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn even more about French culture and the language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com! We offer plenty of information through insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and fun podcasts! Further, you can use our online community to discuss lessons with fellow French learners and check out our MyTeacher program for a one-on-one learning experience.

We hope you enjoyed today’s holiday blog. Keep up the study and practice, and you’re sure to reap the benefits and speak like a French native before you know it!

In the meantime, we’ll just wish you a Happy Grandmother’s Day!

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France in August: What’s it Really Like?

There’s something so delightfully romantic about France—or at least the idea we have of it. Golden fields, beautiful Riviera, foods that enlighten the mind, wines of endless variety, farniente… But summer and August—in terms of France holidays, especially—make for a very different vibe in many aspects of life, and it’s important for people planning to visit France in August to know what the place is really like.

In this article we’ll explain how Paris becomes a ghost town, see what types of weather you can expect in different parts of the country, and help you find the best destination according to what you like to do. In other terms, we’ll answer the question, of what France in August is really like.

Nice

1. The French During Holidays

August for French people is the month when everybody complains about how everyone takes their holidays at the same time. Thus in August, you’ll have both tourists and locals going to the best destinations in France.

Indeed, the French don’t hesitate to take long holidays, even if they own a shop or a restaurant that would highly benefit from the touristy seasons, and some places close for the entire month, especially the farther North you go. Some refer to Paris in August as a “ghost town,” or the “France August shutdown,” only peopled by tourists wandering around, trying to find a restaurant or anything that’s open.

If you don’t like crowds, avoid traveling in the South during the first two weeks of August, because that’s where you’ll find the biggest concentration of those on holiday, both foreign and domestic.

Check out our list of French words for traveling in France!

Traveling

2. The Weather in France

France reaches from the North of Europe (kind of), to the South. There are three types of climate: oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean. Thus there’s no “best” place to visit in France during August. You have varied options and can choose your ideal temperature! Check out our French vocabulary list about summer!

1- Temperature in France in August:

  • Temperature in Normandy: Between 12 C (54 F) and 20 C (68 F), 19 days of rain on average.
  • Weather in Brittany: Between 14 C (57 F) and 22 C (72 F) on average.
  • Weather in Paris: Between 15 C (59 F) and 24 C (75 F), 13 rainy days on average. Weather in Paris in August can be unpredictable; it can be very warm and nice, or be a downpour. If you’re aiming for good weather, don’t risk it.
  • Weather in Lyon: Between 13 C (56 F) and 26 C (79 F) on average, 11 days of rain on average.
  • Weather in Nice: Between 18 C (64 F) and 27 C (81 F) on average, 7 days of rain on average.

Clothes

2- What to Wear in France in August:

The etiquette is pretty loose in France; you’re free to wear what you wish. To visit churches, you should have appropriate clothing, but it’s nothing too strict.

France

3. Markets

This isn’t particular to the month of August, but is a local phenomenon to enjoy every month of the year: the food and goods markets. It’s said that France counts no less than one-hundred exceptional markets. In August, there are more stalls, more artisan choices for tourists, and more vintage fairs.

In terms of seasonal products on the market in August in France, you’ll find courgettes, beautiful tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and lots of yummy fruits. Here are some of France’s best markets:

Paris

1- Le Marché des Enfants Rouges: Paris, 3e Arrondissement

  • Open everyday except Mondays from 8:30am to 1pm, and from 4pm to 7:30pm (2:30pm on Sundays).

This is Paris’ oldest covert market as it dates back to 1629! Owing its name to an old orphanage, it’s situated in the Marais and people often come at eleven o’clock in the morning to see what’s cooking, as it offers mostly food. You can find oysters or a tagine, for instance.

Toulouse

2- Le Marché Victor Hugo: Toulouse

  • Open everyday except Mondays, from 7am to 1pm.

You’ll find about one-hundred stands in this market. Go to the Halle, where you’ll find restaurants on the first floor, and wonderful local products on the ground floor.

3- Carpentras

  • Open every Friday, from 8am to 12:30pm.

There are many markets full of local products in the region since so much produce grows, but the Carpentras is one of the biggest—and where the connoisseurs go for great produce at great prices. In November, it’s the first market for truffles, but in August you’ll find the best seasonal fruits, among them melons. What’s good about this market is that it’s not only dedicated to food, so you can have a nice stroll around to find clothes, artisan products, and even plants.

Lyon

4- Halles Bocuse: Lyon

  • Open everyday except Mondays from 7am to 10:30pm, and from 7am to 4:30pm on Sundays.

It would be a shame to go to Lyon and miss this wonderful market. There are so many stalls that it’s difficult not to get swamped off your feet. You’ll find local produce such as the famous fish quenelles, but also seafood, sausages, and cheeses…

Lyon

4. Things to Do in France in August

1- Museums

Museums in France in August often have longer open hours for tourists to enjoy beautiful art at their times of choice. There are so many wonderful museums open all year that it’s difficult to give you the best ones; it’s so subjective. However, an incredible experience to have in August, and something that’s truly unique, is the Carrières des Lumières. The site is an old query, reconvened in an exhibition space where nicely curated artwork is projected onto the huge walls, and animated and accompanied with music. What’s so great about visiting in August is that it’s very cool inside, a great rest from the daunting Provençal heat. The village next door is also a must, one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages.

  • How much? 13,50 euros, full price.
  • Where? Baux-de-Provence.

Rafting

2- Activities

France’s nature scene and countryside are beautiful, and there are a lot of great summer sports you can indulge in while spending your August in France for the holidays. Canoe in the Gorges du Verdon (The French « Grand Canyon »), or go rafting, hiking, cycling… Don’t close yourself off to these wonderful sporting adventures just because it’s not what you think of when you think of France.

3- Beaches

Ask the locals for directions to the nicest beaches! There are always the tourist ones, and the ones for locals. So learn French to make friends with the locals and get juicy tips!! Also, check out our article on what to do and not to do on a beach in France! Final piece of advice: Don’t think the only nice beaches are on the Mediterranean coast; the Atlantic coast in August has some wonderful beaches!

Cafe

4- Cafes

If you’re feeling lonely, remember that it’s pretty chill to ask somebody out for a coffee or a drink in France, and people are quite spontaneous. Learn here about the top French words to say on a date! Note that you can also apply the French dating knowledge to other countries. 😉

Music Festival

5. Festivals

1- La Feria de Dax

  • When in 2018? August 11th to 15th
  • Where? Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  • Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feria_(festival)

This takes place in the South-Western town, not far from the Spanish border. You’ll hear folk music, see fireworks, and enjoy many other activities such as Corrida or bullfighting.

2- Rock en Seine

  • When in 2018? August 24th to 26th
  • Where? Ile-de-France
  • Website: https://www.rockenseine.com/en/

One of the music festivals France has in August, this all-day rock festival typically takes place at the end of the month, in the west of Paris. There’s usually a great line-up!

3- La Nuit des Etoiles

  • When in 2018? August 3rd to 5th
  • Where? Multiple locations
  • For instance: https://www.sortiraparis.com/arts-culture/walks/articles/42164-star-gazing-night-2018-at-the-montparnasse-tower/lang/en

This is the “Night of the Stars” festival that takes place at about four-hundred events all over the country, where people can meet and observe the night sky together. These events often provide certified astronomers to help you make the most of it!

4- Festival du Comminges

  • When in 2018? July 21st to September 1st
  • Where? Occitanie
  • Website: https://www.festival-du-comminges.com/en/

This is the August music festival in France for classical music and choirs. In the South of France, it takes place all through August in the charming town that’s also on the way of the Camino de Santiago.

Music Festival

6. Can You Get Away with Speaking English?

It’s not for nothing that French people have a bad reputation when it comes to their English speaking. At FrenchPod101, we provide you with easy-to-use French PDF lessons, so you can learn the French you want at your own pace! And if you want to cut to the chase and learn the key phrases in French, well, we’ve got you covered. Check out our article on the subject, Useful French Phrases and Expressions, if you want to read more about it! By the way, the one thing that you must learn to say, even if you learn nothing else, is ‘thank you’ in French.

Trip to France

7. Conclusion

There’s something for everyone in France during the month of August. And even if you experience either rain (in the North) or scorching heat (in the South), come prepared and it won’t hinder your adventure too much. The last advice we can give you is to learn French with our classes at FrenchPod101 to enjoy your French trip in August to the maximum!

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  • Top 15 tips to remember words when learning French

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    Hey French learner!

    We recently gave you some shortcuts to learn French.
    In your journey to become fluent and conversational in less time that is needed to say “Gotta catch ’em all”, we will this time give you the Top 15 tips to remember words!

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    4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.

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    5. Learn about the roots of words and how different words are related to each other.

    6. Speak as often as possible with native speakers.

    7. Categorize new words with other related words that you already know.

    8. Be persistent in practicing everyday by talking to your family or your dog, even though they don’t understand you.

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    9. Say words out loud so that you can actually hear them.

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    The Top 10 French Words & Phrases For Going On A Date

    The Top 10 Words You'll Need For A Date!

    Hey Listeners!

    Summer is here and love is in the air! But are you going to be able to go on that date with that special someone… who only speaks French?!

    Step up your game with our Top 10 French words and phrases for going on a date! And don’t forget to sign up for a FREE (Yes, it’s a FREE account) lifetime account at FrenchPod101.com to further your skills even more!

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    1. I love you.
    Je vous aime.

    2. You’re so beautiful.
    Tu es si belle.

    3. Kiss
    bisou

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    4. Love
    aimer

    5. I think of you as more than a friend.
    Je vois en toi plus qu’un(e) ami(e).

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    6. Girlfriend
    petite amie

    7. I’ve got a crush on you.
    J’ai le béguin pour toi.

    8. Date
    rendez-vous

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    9. Heart
    coeur

    10. We were meant to be together.
    Nous sommes faits pour être ensemble.

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    P.S. If you are in a really lovey dovey mood, check out some of these related word lists!
    1. The Top 10 Phrases You Always Want To Hear
    2. 15 Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
    3. Must-Know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
    4. Introduce Yourself In French
    5. The Top 10 Conversational Phrases In French

    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!

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/2c71e2da2eb29a726c4e0cb25695c7d5/tumblr_inline_o5m4tojcQ31tygh8e_500.gif

    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.

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/a747f5cb2e608831d9cea4d4cb647a66/tumblr_inline_o5m4n0LHnp1tygh8e_500.gif

    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.

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/42e11c9e03179b410287840b4bc948e7/tumblr_inline_o5m47jYmbg1tygh8e_540.gif

    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.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/77823b68407b5546ae26d472ed29e6ca/tumblr_inline_o5m4q0bmko1tygh8e_500.gif

    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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