This French tradition of serving a frangipane filled tart known as the ‘galette des rois’ (or the ‘gateau des rois’ in the South of France) on, or around the 6th January, (the first Sunday of each New Year) actually dates back to the 14th century.
These pooey Catalan traditions may shed some light on the popular Catalan saying
“menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort!” (Eat well, poo strong and don’t be afraid of death!)
He is the ‘Père Noel du Secours Populaire’ and his job is not to hand out presents but to collect them.
In some towns and villages, these Nativity scenes come out onto the streets, life-size, to convey the essence of the festivities
In normal years, before Covid changed our lives, this would still not be a good weekend to pop across the border!
A popular and much loved Catalan Christmas figure, this small statue, originally of a pooping peasant wearing traditional floppy red Catalan cap (barretina), crouches with trousers half down, in a ‘toilet’ position, making his small contribution to the land.
This French Christmas character, the ‘whipping father’, said to accompany Santa on his rounds on 6th December, is fortunately no longer heard of much in French tradition.
The ‘Catherinettes’ were poor old ladies of twenty-five years old who had not managed to hook themselves a husband by the 25th November, Feast of Saint Catherine, patron saint of young unmarried women.
You may already know that the donkey is the symbol of Catalonia, French and Spanish, whilst the bull is the unofficial national symbol of Spain, but do you know how it all started?
The remains of a single French soldier slain on the battleﬁeld were buried on November 11, 1920, two years after the end of the ironically named ‘War to End All Wars’.