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Leap Year Traditions in France

Ducks and chickens in snow

Bonjour and welcome to this week’s newsletter from France

I hope you had a good week.

Here we had some snow at last. It’s been a very warm, very wet winter compared to most years. But on Thursday morning I woke to the sound of chickens pecking at the window making sorrowful noises and when I opened the curtains I could see that everything was white. My dogs loved the fluffy flakes and ran about wagging their tails and trying to catch the frozen kisses in their mouths (you can see them in a video here on Instagram). The chickens hated it and huddled on the windowsills of the house, peering in the windows trying to find me to voice their irritation and get me to make it all better. The snow didn’t last long, just a morning then the wind blew it away to Alsace, but it was lovely while it lasted. Now we’re back to rain…

This is an unusual newsletter in that I’m sending it on Saturday February 29 – a day which only comes around every 28 years.

Leap Year Traditions in France

Leap Year of course comes around every four years and in France people get excited about buying a newspaper to celebrate. Not just any old newspaper though. La Bougie du Sapeur is only published on 29 February and is the world’s most infrequent newspaper. The name means The soldier’s Candle and refers to an old comic book character born in a leap year. You can buy the 20 page humorous newspaper in the shops or subscribe – it’s 100 Euros for a 100 years’ worth – and is considered a collector’s item in France. For those who bought it in 2016, the crossword puzzle answers will be in the 2024 edition!

My dogs think leap year is just another year for leaping about in the hills and dales of the 7 Valleys where I live!

Wishing you a bon weekend and a happy March
Bisous from France,
Janine
Editor

Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print and audio, free on Kindle Unlimited (UK) and on Kindle Unlimited Australia.

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