Archive for the ‘France Holidays’ Category

Fête du Travail Is Labor Day In France

May 1 is International Workers’ Day, or simply Labor Day, in many countries around the world. In France, the day is referred to as “Fête du Travail”. The day is celebrated with parades and demonstrations organized by trade unions and other similar workers’ organizations. These moves are aimed at campaigning for the rights of workers and airing their demands, which are directed at businesses and concerned government agencies.

Fête du Travail is a public holiday in France. Most businesses, shops, and stores are closed on this day; so are banks and post offices. Schedules of public transport service are different on this day from those of the regular working days of the week. This is because of the disruptions to traffic that the said demonstrations and parades are expected to cause.

On April 23, 1919, France officially adopted the 8-hour working day. That same year, May 1 became a public holiday in that country. But it was almost 30 years later when this day was started to be used as an occasion for celebrating and campaigning for the rights of workers. The yearly campaigns led to several changes in labor rules and laws.

Some of the conditions and regulations included in the present French labor laws are as follows:

? The levels of “salaire” (salary) are fixed by mutual agreement between employer and employee. The salary of an employee indicated in the contract is usually expressed in annual gross figure.

? The Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance (SMIC) guarantees minimum hourly wage. This means that the wage payment to an employee should not go below the minimum level as provided for in the SMIC.

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? “Temps de travail” (legal working hours) per week is fixed at thirty-five hours. This rule, however, does not apply to limited liability company managers, executives, sales representatives, domestic staff, and other employees with special working conditions.

? Employees are entitled to five weeks of paid vacation every year. The five weeks are distributed at two and a half days for every month worked.

? “Congé de maternité” (maternity leave) entitles every mother to no less than 16 weeks of paid leave. “Congé de paternité” (paternity leave), on the other hand, provides a new father 11 days of paid leave, taken consecutively within 4 months of the birth.

It is interesting to note that the lily of the valley is the symbol the French used for this occasion. Bouquets of this flower are traditionally given to loved ones during this day. This tradition is very much alive particularly in the administrative region of Île-de-France.

History has it that King Charles IX of France was gifted with lily of the valley flowers on May 1, 1561. The king appreciated the present so much. Every year on May 1 from then on, he gave the same flowers to every lady of his court.

Today, French families living in country areas wake up very early in the morning of May 1 each year to go into the woods and pick lily of the valley flowers. Workers and students in urban areas sell bouquets of the flower door-to-door or on the streets to raise funds for labor organizations.

Sometimes it’s tough to sort out all the details related to this subject, but I’m positive you’ll have no trouble making sense of the information presented above.

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School Holidays In France: Five Sets And The Zoning Scheme

The best course of action to take sometimes isn’t clear until you’ve listed and considered your alternatives. The following paragraphs should help clue you in to what the experts think is significant.

Traveling to France when schools are on holiday may not be a good idea. This is because tourist resorts are teeming with vacationers during this period that one has to fight (figuratively, of course) for space. The Mediterranean coast and the more than 200 ski resorts are particularly crowded, often translating to lodging shortages.

This being the case, it is important to know when schools in France are closed. Note the following five sets of school holidays in a year (the French school calendar year starts in early September):

1. Toussaint break – This is a 12-day school break, in observance of All Saints’ Day, that usually begins around the latter part of the third week of October.

2. Noel-Le Jour de l’An break – Schools are closed for 15 days for the Christmas/New Year holidays, from December 20 to January 4. This is the period when ski resorts in France “overflow” with people and finding a vacant hotel room is next to impossible.

3. Hiver break – Another 15-day school break that begins in February, when winter is typically at its peak.

4. Printemps break – This is also known as the spring break, which coincides with Easter (Paques). Schools are closed for 15 days, beginning usually two days prior to Easter.

5. L’ete holidays – This is the 2-month long summer vacation, when all schools are closed from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. This period is certainly not a good time for tourists to visit France for the reasons earlier mentioned.

Besides these sets of school holidays, those planning a trip to France must also know that the French Ministry of Education had the schedules of the hiver and printemps breaks staggered by dividing France into three zones:

Hopefully the information presented so far has been applicable. You might also want to consider the following:

Zone A:

This zone covers the schools located in Toulouse, Nantes, Montpellier, Grenoble, Caen, Rennes, Nancy-Metz, Lyon, and Clermont-Ferrand.

Zone B:

The schools included in this zone are those located in Strasbourg, Reims, Orleans-Tours, Limoges, Dijon, Amiens, Rouen, Poitiers, Nice, Lille, Besancon, and Aix-Marseille.

Zone C:

This third zone includes schools in Versailles, Bordeaux, Créteil, and those in the capital city of Paris.

These zones specify when a school at a particular location will have its winter and spring breaks. As you take a look at your maps, you will note that the locations that comprise each zone do not make up a contiguous area. This was deliberately done in order that there will be an even distribution of holiday goers in resorts at any given period.

The effect of the zoning is another thing to be considered. What this means is that while the hiver and printemps breaks are 15-day periods as far as schools are concerned, the schedules of the zones overlap with one another, such that the length of each break is effectively stretched into one month. This matter has to be taken into account by a would-be visitor to France and avoided if possible.

The months of May and June are probably the best times for anyone to visit France while at the same time avoiding the lengthy school holidays, as the weather during this two-month period is perfect. Others may say though that this period, in fact, contains numerous holidays. These, however, are just one-day holidays and, except for Fête du Travail (Labor Day, May 1) and Victoire 1945 (Victory in Europe Day, May 8), have moveable dates.

That’s how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.

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Five Movable French Public Holidays

Most countries have public holidays whose dates are movable. That is, they are not fixed to a specific day of the calendar year. In France, they have thirteen public holidays, five of which have movable dates. These are as follows:

1. Pâques (Easter) – This is the most important religious celebration in France, and is in fact considered the holiest day in the Christian calendar. The day is a commemoration of Christ’s resurrection and marks the end of Lent.

Based on the Christian liturgical year, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the occurrence of the vernal equinox. By simple definition, vernal equinox is a specific time of the year when day and night are about the same in duration.

Doing away with such technical terms, France will celebrate Easter on these dates of the next five years: April 4, 2010, April 24, 2011, April 8, 2012, March 31, 2013, and April 20, 2014.

2. Lundi de Pâques (Easter Monday) – This is actually an extra public holiday in France as well as in some other Christian countries. Understandably, this celebration moves in relation to the moving date of Pâques. For the next five years, therefore, France will celebrate Easter Monday on the following dates: April 5, 2010, April 25, 2011, April 9, 2012, April 1, 2013, and April 21, 2014.

If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

3. L’Ascencion (Ascension Day) – In the Christian doctrine, Jesus, following his resurrection, ascended to Heaven in the presence of his eleven disciples. While some countries observe this holy day on the immediate Sunday forty days after Easter, France retained the traditional Christian celebration of the Thursday that is exactly the 40th day from Easter.

Hence, France will celebrate l’Ascencion every year, from 2010 to 2014, on these dates: May 13, 2010, June 2, 2011, May 17, 2012, May 9, 2013, and May 29, 2014.

4. Pentecôte (Pentecost) – The Pentecost, which is also called Whitsun, is another important religious feast in the Christian calendar. It is the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ eleven disciples. Observance of this feast is on the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Because it always falls on a Sunday, the Pentecost is automatically a public holiday. In France, la Pentecôte will be observed in the next five years, beginning 2010, on these dates: May 23, 2010, June 12, 2011, May 27, 2012, May 19, 2013, and June 8, 2014.

5. Lundi de Pentecôte (Whit Monday) – This is another extra public holiday in France. It is observed on the Monday immediately following la Pentecôte. Therefore, France will observe Whit Monday on these dates: May 24, 2010, June 13, 2011, May 28, 2012, May 20, 2013, and June 9, 2014.

In the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, Good Friday is also observed as a public holiday. The two provinces’ dates of celebration of this holy day are on April 2, 2010, April 22, 2011, April 6, 2012, March 29, 2013, and April 18, 2014.

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Le Jour De L’An: New Year Celebration In France

The following article includes pertinent information that may cause you to reconsider what you thought you understood. The most important thing is to study with an open mind and be willing to revise your understanding if necessary.

France celebrates New Year on January 1 like many other countries do. The beginning of a new year, which is “le Jour de l’An” in French, is a highly anticipated occasion that is observed with festivities. Among these is the customary holding of a feast, referred to as “le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre”.

The term “la Saint-Sylvestre” actually refers to New Year’s Eve (December 31). Hence, the le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre feast is a grand celebration the French host to mark the closing of an old year and the birth of another. Special dishes, such as foie gras (fattened goose liver), are aplenty during this time; so are various kinds of drinks including the very popular sparkling white wine “champagne” and the equally famous hot wine “vin chaud”. At the stroke of midnight, family members and friends kiss under “le gui” (the mistletoe).

Fireworks are common, especially on the streets of Paris. These have become an important part of the New Year celebration in this city, which is helped a lot by the fact that fireworks are legally sold and bought here.

The celebration can be a simple get-together of family members over dinner or a more extravagant formal gathering of families and friends called “une soiree” (literally, an evening gathering). Traditional activities include exchanging of “les etrennes” (New Year’s gifts) and even of “une bonne resolution” (New Year’s resolutions). People greet each other excitedly on the streets, give greeting cards and other goodies, all meant to usher in a prosperous new year.

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In Bordeaux and other cities and villages in southwest France, people hear mass in the evening and join the torchlight procession that ends in the vineyards, where people pick grapes and enjoy some mulled wine. In the southern city of Avignon, the famous “Illuminations Tour and Dinner” is a fully-booked activity at this time.

Festivities in the capital city of Paris are held with the participation of thousands of entertainers, singers and dancers. These festivities, actually a two-day parade, go through several streets, proceed through the city’s metropolitan area of Chantilly on December 31, and end at the Champ de Mars (right under the Eiffel Tower) the following day (January 1).

New Year songs are heard all over, such as “Choral des Adieux”, the equivalent of the Scottish poem-turned-folk song “Auld Lang Syne”. Two other songs popularly sung during this occasion are “Toast pour le nouvel An” (“Toast to the New Year”) and “La chanson du Nouvel-An” (“Song of the New Year”).

Taking a cruise has become a popular way of celebrating New Year in France of late. Cruise choices (reservations should be made at least one month before New Year) include tours of the canals and rivers of France, a tour of the northern part of the country on the Seine beginning at Paris and ending at Normandy (this is ideal for couples), or of the southern part on the Saone and Rhone starting at Lyon and terminating at Provence.

The conclusion of all celebrations of le Jour de l’An is on the feast of the Epiphany (January 6). Here, a special cake, called “la galette des rois” (king’s cake) is cut and shared among family members and friends.

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Best Beach Destinations In France To Spend L’Eté Holidays

Would you like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about France Holidays? The information in the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge about France Holidays.

Summer anywhere always means taking long trips, going on camping, or enjoying the scenic beauty, fine sand and cool waters of beaches. In France, l’été (summer) is a great time for such activities, especially since practically all businesses, offices, and schools are closed during this long period.

Although France is not always on top of the list of summer vacation destinations, those who’ve been to this beautiful country were quick to realize that its geographical position makes it really an ideal summer getaway, with miles and miles of beaches that line its shores. This is because France is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two of the world’s vast bodies of water.

Here are some of the best beach destinations in France where summer vacationers can have a really good time:

Villefranche-sur-Mer:

This beach destination is famous for its coarse sand and tranquil environment. It’s a low-profile getaway ideal for those who prefer a quieter time. The place is also highly preferred by sunbathers. Visitors here will find a market, a few cafes, and some shops. The beach is just a few minutes away from the city of Nice.

Cap Ferret:

This place is a cape that forms a sandspit. To the east lies the Arcachon Bay, while the Atlantic Ocean lies to the west. This makes it an ideal resort, as it provides beaches on either side. The beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and even fishing. The place is noted for its famous lighthouse and vacationers have no problem with accommodation as there are hotels right inside here. The resort is very near the port city of Bordeaux.

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Argeles-sur-Mer:

This is one of the most frequented resorts in France during l’été holidays. The beach stretches along the entire length of the popular French Red Coast (“Cote Vermeille”). Shops and cafes add to vacationers’ convenience here. The place is close to Perpignan, the capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales department, and is a short drive to Spain.

Saint-Jean de Luz:

This is another one of the favorite beach destinations in France, especially because of its fine sand. The place sits right in the center of the Northern Basque Country. A vacationer to this place often gets the feeling of still being in a city because of the many shops, cafes, and markets that are present here. The feeling, of course, is more of an appreciation for such conveniences than anything else.

La Grande Motte:

Among French vacationers, this resort is perhaps the most popular. One will find that time quickly passes here because of the many things he/she can do in this place. Besides the usual beach activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, those who spend their summer here can also enjoy playing tennis or golf, go on nature hiking, or catch sight of white horses and flamingoes. Children can also have a great time at the resort’s water park.

Of course there are many other beach destinations in France that are equally great as those already mentioned here. Those in the coasts of Brittany and Normandy, for example, are ideal places as well for l’été getaway.

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La Chandeleur: French Celebration Of Candlemas

The Roman Catholic Church celebrates February 2 each year as Candlemas. This celebration is a commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s purification and the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple. The feast is also called by other names: “Feast of the Presentation of Jesus,” “Meeting of the Lord,” and “Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.”

France, being a predominantly Roman Catholic country, also observes this feast on February 2, which is forty days after Christmas. There are three French terms for the occasion: “Jour des crêpes” (crêpes have real signification in this occasion), “Fête de la Lumière” (different from the Festival of Lights in Lyon), and “La Chandeleur” (the most commonly used of the three terms).

The term “Candlemas” was derived from the Latin ritual of lighting candles at midnight to symbolize purification. The original event involved the observance of the Holy Family (Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and the baby Jesus) of the rite as described in Chapters 21 to 24 of the Second Book of Luke. In part, the rite required that a mother must present her firstborn boy to the Lord forty days after birth. An offering of two doves must accompany the presentation.

The French celebration of La Chandeleur as a commemoration of the purification of the Virgin Mary first occurred in 1372. The term “Fête de la Lumière” refers to the lighting of blessed candles as a form of remembering Jesus Christ who is the “Light of the World.” This lighting of blessed candles at homes for protection continues to this day in France.

In relation to why La Chandeleur is also called Jour des crêpes, the French pray for good harvest and prosperity for every home and family. All excess flour is used to make crêpes. These pancakes are a symbol of prosperity in France. Farmers believe that wheat will grow better if many crêpes are made. Turning the celebration into a sort of revelry, children engage in crêpe-throwing games during this day.

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One of the French traditions during La Chandeleur goes this way: People clutch a coin in the hand which they use for writing; with the other hand, they hold a pan with a crêpe in it. They toss the crêpe in the air and try to catch it back into the pan. If they’re successful, they wrap the coin with the crêpe. This is then brought in the bedroom and placed on top of the cupboard. The way by which this is done is similar to a procession, with the participation of all members of the family. The following year, the coin is given to the poor. This entire ritual is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to the family for the whole year.

Fortune telling, while making crêpes, is also a tradition during La Chandeleur. In addition, French proverbs pertaining to the occasion come out prominently during this day. Some examples are given below:

? “On la Chandeleur, the day grows by two hours.”

? “On la Chandeleur, winter comes to an end or becomes stronger.”

? “On la Chandeleur, everything is covered with snow and forty days are lost.”

Crêpes certainly are an important part of the French celebration of Candlemas. One reason for this is that crêpes, to the French, symbolize the sun, which seems to be absent in their lives during this time of the year.

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Armistice Day: Observance Of The End Of World War I In France

You should be able to find several indispensable facts about France Holidays in the following paragraphs. If there’s at least one fact you didn’t know before, imagine the difference it might make.

The Armistice Day is one of thirteen holidays observed in France. It is celebrated every year on November 11. The term “armistice”, which is synonymous to the word “truce”, means “the temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement between the opposing forces. So what exactly is France observing during the Armistice Day?

On November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m., the two opposing forces of World War I – the Allies and Germany – signed a truce for the ceasing of all military actions in the Western Front, which stretched from Belgium to the northeastern portion of France. The Allies were composed of military forces from France, the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, the then Russian Empire, and the United Kingdom (as well as the British Empire then consisted of Australia, Canada, India, Newfoundland, New Zealand, and South Africa). Germany had Austria/Hungary and the then Ottoman Empire fighting on its side.

The momentous event, famous for its triple 11 mark (for the hour, day, and month the armistice was signed), signaled the end of World War I, which started on July 28, 1914 with the German invasion of three European countries including France.

It is fitting that France observes this event every year not only because of its involvement in the war, but also because the armistice was signed at the city of Compiegne in that country. Likewise, the signing of the armistice was considered the last major victory of France in military and political conflicts.

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During this day, many villages in France hold commemorative ceremonies in honor of those who perished in the war. Visiting the graves of fallen soldiers is a tradition on this day. An interesting feature of the celebration is the decorating of the graves with flowers from the poppy plant (others simply wear the flower). This tradition is said to have been inspired by a line from a poem written in honor of the soldiers killed in the war.

For the war veterans, parades and such other activities appropriate for the occasion are held in their honor during this day.

In other countries (those that were parts of the Allies), the Armistice Day is called by other names. In the United States, for example, the day is referred to as “Veterans Day”, while in others it’s called “Remembrance Day”. Still others refer to the day as “Poppy Day”, in obvious reference to the memorial tradition as explained above.

While many countries, like France, observe Armistice Day on November 11 every year, other countries celebrate the event on different dates: New Zealand (the Friday before April 25, which is the Anzac Day); South Africa (the Saturday nearest to November 11); United Kingdom (second Sunday of November); and Italy (first Sunday of November). Countries that do observe Armistice Day on November 11 but not as a public holiday include Australia, Barbados, and the Republic of Ireland.

In France, as in other countries that observe Armistice Day, people pause for two minutes at 11 o’clock in the morning of November 11 (or of the date it is scheduled, as earlier mentioned) in honor of the millions of people – soldiers and civilians alike – who were killed in World War I, the “War (that was supposed) to End All Wars”.

Now you can be a confident expert on France Holidays. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on France Holidays.

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Beaujolais Nouveau Day And Some Of The Most Famous Nouveaux Wines

When you think about France Holidays, what do you think of first? Which aspects of France Holidays are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

A special occasion celebrated in France is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. This occasion is celebrated on the third Thursday of November each year. On this day, wine lovers from around the world rush to France to have a taste of the Beaujolais Nouveau offered for the year.

What is Beaujolais Nouveau?

To begin, there is a region in France named Beaujolais. In this region, a purple-colored variety of grapes known as Gamay is grown. From these grapes are produced the most popular red wine, called Beaujolais Nouveau.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a nouveaux wine (also known as vin de primeur). A nouveux wine is a French wine granted certification under the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (controlled term of origin) to be released and marketed in the same year the grapes it’s made from are harvested. Beaujolais Nouveau is released and sold on the third Thursday of November, which is usually only a few weeks from the time the grapes were harvested. Thus, the day is referred to as Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

Nouveaux wines are distinctively paler in color. This is because of the very short time of maceration and fermentation the products go through. The wines are fruity, light bodied, and may contain some residual sugar.

Besides Beaujolais Nouveau, there are other equally famous nouveux wines. Depending on regulations (which region in France a wine is produced), a nouveaux wine may be red, rose, or white. Below are some of the most famous nouveux wines of France:

1. Anjou wine – White wine produced in the Loire Valley region.

2. Burgundy wine – Red or white wine produced in the Burgundy region. Red Burgundy wines are made from Pinot Noir grapes, while the white ones are from Chardonnay grapes.

3. Côtes de Bourg wine – White wine produced in the Bordeaux region.

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4. Muscadet wine – White wine produced in the Pays de la Loire region.

5. Saumur wine – White or red wine produced in the Loire Valley region. White Saumur wines are made from Chenin Blanc grapes, while the red ones are from Cabernet Franc grapes.

6. Tavel wine – Rose wine produced in the region of Rhône. It is made from either the Cinsault or Grenache grape varieties.

7. Corbières wine – Rose or white wine produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

8. Minervois wine – Red wine made from Carignan grapes grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

9. Bergerac wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in southwest France.

10. Jurançon wine – White wine made from Courbu, Petit Manseng, or Gros Manseng grapes grown in southwest France.

11. Gaillac wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in southwest France.

12. Côtes du Ventoux wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in the region of Rhône. Red and rose Côtes du Ventoux wines are made from Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvèdre, or Syrah grapes. White Côtes du Ventoux wines are made from Bourboulenc, Clairette, or Grenache Blanc grapes.

Again because of the short processing time Beaujolais Nouveau and the other nouveaux wines go through, it is very likely that these were not exposed to any oak before their release to the market. Labels of all nouveaux wines need to show the words “nouveau” or “primeur” as per regulations.

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International Day Of Francophonie

…A Gathering Of French-Speaking People From Around The World

The International Day of Francophonie is celebrated every year on March 20. On this day, Francophones from around the world get together as a way of celebrating that “something” that is common to them – the French language.

The inaugural International Day of Francophonie was held in 1998, although the Francophonie organization was actually established 28 years earlier. The organization has its headquarters in Paris, France.

The term “Francophonie” refers to specific areas in the world in which French is spoken. It was coined in 1880 by Onésime Reclus, a French essayist and geographer. The term “Francophone”, on the other hand, refers to a person who speaks French. When not capitalized, the term is a descriptive word, such as in “franchophone region”.

Currently, the organization is headed (as Executive Secretary) by Abdou Diouf, who served as the second President of Senegal from 1981 to 2000. It has 56 member states, 21 of which were original members (i.e., countries that joined the organization in 1970). These are France, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

Within the next 10 years, 12 more states, communities, or colonies joined the organization as members. These are the French Community of Belgium, New Brunswick, Quebec, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Guinea-Bissau, Lebanon, Seychelles, and Vanuatu.

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The rest of the member states today include Albania, Andorra, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Guinea, Laos, Moldova, Morocco, Romania, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Switzerland.

The organization has three associate members: Armenia, Cyprus, and Ghana. Fourteen countries, meanwhile, are assigned as observers. These are Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, and Ukraine.

Other countries with French-speaking regions, but are not members of the organization, are Algeria, Guernsey, India, Italy, Israel, Jersey, Mexico, Syria, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, French is spoken in four states: Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. All these areas certainly are considered francophone regions.

It is estimated that there are over 150 million Francophones, more than half of whom live outside France. Understandably because of this, French is a very important language in the world. To emphasize this, French is extensively used in prominent international gatherings as the Olympics, the United Nations, and the European Union.

Through the International Day of Francophonie, French-speaking people from different parts of the world are able to interact, bringing into the meeting diverse traditions and cultural differences. Such instance promotes a culture of tolerance, which, sadly, is lacking in many parts of the world.

Today, the Francophonie organization has several branches that oversee and coordinate activities between and among member states in areas of concern that go beyond the French language and culture. Such areas include worldwide concerns on the economy, science, peace, justice, democracy, human rights, and the environment.

The International Day of Francophonie carries the slogan “Egalité, Complémentarité, Solidarité. This translates to “Equality, Complementarity, Solidarity.

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World Music Day: An Event That Began In France

The following article presents the very latest information on France Holidays. If you have a particular interest in France Holidays, then this informative article is required reading.

Each year on June 21, the air in France is filled with music of all types. This is the day when Fête de la Musique is celebrated in many places across the country. Fête de la Musique translates to World Music Day, an event introduced by the Ministry for Culture of France in 1982.

This French event is very popular for several reasons. One, participation in the event is free (that is, musicians perform for free and the public can enjoy attending the event without paying any fee). Two, anybody who’s got talent for music (young or old) may join the event. Three, soloists, duets or groups are encouraged to participate. And four, participants can render or perform any kind or type of music. The promotional slogan for the event – “Faites de la musique” (make music) – is apt in this regard.

Another important thing that adds to the popularity of the event is the laxity by which venues are chosen. What this means is that the event may be held almost anywhere – in the streets, inside rooms of public buildings, in parks, at train stations, or even inside historic castles. Of these, the streets of France are the preferred venues of many participants.

The idea behind the launching of Fête de la Musique (and its yearly holding) is to enliven the atmosphere with the liberal expression of all types of music – avant, country, fabulous, hip hop, instrumental, jazz, Latin, pop, techno, and trance. It is an opportunity for people of all ages and from all social backgrounds to communicate through music. Any event of this kind certainly promises a special moment for everyone.

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As the event tends to lure wide participation from among the thousands of amateur and professional musicians in France, so too is its aim of attracting a large audience. Both are possible because people are music lovers by nature, and expressing oneself through music is a great way for releasing one’s inner burdens. Along this line, it must be mentioned here that some of the day’s concerts are held right inside hospitals or prisons to help cheer patients/inmates up even for just a few hours.

Also the event can serve as a conduit for the transfer and exchange of the different styles of music between cities or regions. For this purpose, participation of large music groups (choirs or orchestras) is important and, therefore, encouraged. Likewise, based on past events, young musicians get the chance of meeting noted music talents and learn many things from them.

From France, the World Music Day has spread to cities of other countries. These include Brisbane (Australia), Sulaymaniyah (Iraqi Kurdistan), Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (Israel), Glasgow and Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), and New York City and Cambridge (United States), among others.

The World Music Day celebrations in many cities outside France were initially organized by the French Embassies in those places. Later, local organizers took over and the event’s holding date of June 21 was maintained.

Beyond the usual hours that Fête de la Musique is held, amateur musicians may continue performing in public places. However, French authorities may impose noise restrictions or stop the concerts altogether in areas where the general public may ask that such performances be ended.

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