Salut tout le monde, et bonne année! It’s Rose here, and after enjoying a few weeks at home over the Christmas holidays, I’m back in France. I’ve quickly discovered that the month of January for French people means two things: la galette des rois, et les soldes. La galette des rois is a French tradition, to celebrate the Christian feast day of the Epiphany on the 6th January. French people celebrate by eating a cake called une galette des rois. The type of cake varies region to region; in Brittany it is made of puff pastry with a frangipane centre, and often an added dash of rum for some extra flavour. Inside the cake is a small figurine toy, une fève, and whoever finds the toy inside their slice of cake becomes ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for the day! From late December bakeries sell these cakes, with a wide variety of toys hidden inside. In recent years, they have become more commercialised, now including Disney Princess or Toy Story themed treasures, for example. When you buy a galette des rois they often come with paper crowns, to give to the person who finds la fève.
That’s les galettes des rois out the way. Les soldes, or the January sales, are another issue altogether, one which French people take very, very seriously if staff room chatter is anything to go by. It’s been the hot topic all week in school! Government stipulations mean that shops in France can only have so many ‘sale-days’ per year, and people look forward almost all year to the January sales. The sales run from around the 9th January to 5th February. They already have good reductions in most shops, but the teachers at school have told me il faut attendre, to wait a little longer, to get even better deals. However, I decided to brave the sales with a few friends at the weekend anyway. I thought I was a seasoned shopper but apparently not – il y avait trop de monde – it was too busy! We decided to leave and go for a coffee a measly hour into our highly anticipated shopping trip! Have you indulged in some sale shopping this month, or maybe tried a galette des rois? À la prochaine!