“Carnaval” – is spring finally here?

This evening we’ve been invited next door for crepes – just a day late – it’s Cendres (Ash Wednesday) today; yesterday was Mardi-gras, Carnaval, or Pancake Day.

crepes

Strange the names and customs for the start of lent. Carnival goes back to the latin – “farewell to meat” – but means so much more these days. There have been  carnival clothes available in the shops for weeks now, and many “carnivals” particularly involving children at the end of their spring holiday locally. And of course, the great “carnivals” in Venice and other Italian towns and cities.

mardi-gras-mask-3

Then again the Spanish and South American traditions of Mardi-gras or “fat tuesday” as seen in the Carnival celebrations in Rio and other places.

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The English affair is a little tame – Pancake Tuesday compares poorly with Carnival and Mardi-gras, and perhaps reflects the Puritan influence of “Shrove Tuesday”, the traditional English name which refers to being ‘shriven’ or confessed and forgiven one’s sins.

One could be forgiven for thinking that these are a reflection of pagan spring festivals rather than the approach of the penitential season of Lent. Especially on such a day as today when the sun is shining, the spring flowers in bloom, the catkins on the trees, the birds are singing (we are of course well past St. Valentine now!). Such a contrast from our last few postings of just a fortnight ago. Is spring here at last? Do we have a good summer to look forward to? 

“Hope springs eternal…” !!!

primula

Bob

Welcome

For those who’ve visited, or are thinking about visiting, we’d like to keep you up to date with what’s happening to us, and in our little part of Normandy.

Check us out from time to time to discover what’s happening here – news and views, festivals and fete days, special holiday offers in our cottages and chambre d’hote; all things interesting and exciting, we hope.

Contact us for further information, or visit our website www.hirondelleholidays.com

Bob and Marjory

Bon Annee – Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2008. Hello to our first trial at Blogging.

We want to keep you up to date with what’s happening with us, and in our little part of Normandy.

Check us out from time to time to discover what’s happening here – festivals and fete days, special holiday offers in our gites and chambre d’hotes, all things interesting and exciting, we hope.

At the moment we’re working on a special offer for school holidays for this year – Easter is the earliest it can possibly be – check out astral projections and golden numbers – so interesting school holidays with those on six-term years especially.

Do you really get a long weekend, and then a fortnight’s holiday just two weeks later??

Contact us for further information, or visit our website. http://www.hirondelleholidays.com

In France New Year greetings can be sent anytime in January, so “Meilleurs Voeux”

Bob and Marjory