Monday, March 31, 2008


Here's how a school carnival in the French countryside is done.

Step 1. Get all the kids to dress up.

This year the theme was "Earth, Air, Water, Fire & Spring". The mothers really pull out all the stops & got very creative. There were a lot of home made costumes. Needless to say, the Girl's outfit was not one of them. I don't feel the least bit guilty buying it from a store, I'm not so Martha Stewart. Trust me, she would not have looked as adorable if I'd made her costume.

Step 2. Go door to door selling bread to raise funds for the school.

The families are then broken up into groups & assigned their target areas, usually their own village & the surroundings. The small contingent will then proceed to knock on doors selling a sort of French bread. Music & other sound makers like pots & pans accompany. Invitation to enter for apperitif can happen.

Step 3. Picnic lunch

Once all the bread is sold, everybody gathers around for lunch. It's a potluck of sorts where everybody brings their own food & yet shares what is available. This was the highlight of the day (at least for me) as wine is flowing, recipes are shared & families get to know one another.

Step 4. Parade through the village

The actual highlight of the day is the parade. The mascot, a huge paper mache creature (cos I'm not sure what it is & didn't want to offend anybody by asking) was brought out. Together with a group of musicians, everybody makes their way through the village throwing confetti.

Step 5. Bonfire

At the end of the parade, everybody gathers around one final time for the burning of the mascot. I'm not sure if there was any significance in it but we were cold & wet & really grateful to have the bonfire.

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