Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Perhaps because I'm not religious & I guess the same applies for my family & friends cos I have never attended any christenings or baptisms until I came to France. In the past 4 years, I've already attended 5. The last held this past Sunday.

They all follow pretty much the same formula - church ceremony, aperitif or drinks then lunch, opening of presents & finally a round of petanque. It's a whole day affair from noon to 8 in the evening. It is exhausting, for me at least. It's even worse with wedding dinners. Chinese banquets with 10 courses can be done in 2 hours including toasts & speeches so why can't the French do the same ?

So you want to know how a baptheme or christening is done French countryside style ? Let me tell you how.

Family & friends attend a simple church ceremony where the child is to be baptised or christened. In this case, there were 4 children being baptised all at the same time.
(We still get asked when we'll be doing for The Girl & my answer is "before she turns 18". Although I appreciate the family wants this to be done, it's just not a priority for us.)

That's Gabriel, the latest addition to X's very large extended family.

After which, we all adjourned to another location - usually some sort of function room where aperitif & lunch would be held. It was already 1pm & we were no where ready to start lunch yet. So usually there are all kinds of snacks to tie us over until lunch.

What's aperitif in the south without pastis

Today the theme is a pretty turqoise & brown.
Everything from table setting to food to drinks is done by the family.

X's cousins did a good job decorating the room with montage of the baby's photos

In almost all cases, the food is generally prepared by the family. Very rarely do they cater except today. A huge paella was ordered & it was a nice change from the usual charcuterie or roast meat. Then it was followed in typical French style by cheese & home made confiture (yumm more of those delicious blueberry jam - I really have to make some myself).

That's dessert

And for X, here are some photos of the family

Then there's the obligatory opening of EVERY present in order for everyone to oooh & aaah (something too that I have yet to get used to).

The family photo in front of desserts

The happy but tired parents

Last but not least, a game of petanque to round up the celebration

Phew now you know why I'm dead tired & need several days to recover after a family lunch or dinner. And that's just being one of the guests.....Is it a wonder why we haven't done one for The Girl yet ?


~Sasha Farina~ said...

such an elaborate affair yeah? I don't think I'm up to it.. LOL. I'm so not a people person if you know what i mean :D

petite fleur said...

In that case, you wouldn't survive it. Even tho I'm a people person, it's still draggy. Made worse by the fact that I have to speak in a language that I'm not fluent in. By the end of the day, I just can't speak in French anymore.