“Faire du lèche-vitrine” means to go window shopping. It’s a very common expression and everybody uses it without really thinking about it. When you look closely at the French words though, they literally mean “to lick the windows”, which is gross when you think about it 😝 So next time you go into town, imagine all these poor French people drooling in front of the shops, it will help you remember these words 😄
There are quite a few in France, for various reasons but mostly to celebrate an historic or religious event.
So today in France, like every 11th of November, people won’t go to
work, most of the shops will be closed, and celebrations will be
organised in every town and village to remember the 1 400 000 men from
France and its colonies who died during the First World War.
The symbolic flower is not “le coquelicot” (poppy) but “le bleuet” (cornflower), like the colour of the French army uniform.
Un feu d’artifice is a firework (literally “artificial fire).
Unlike in the UK, a firework in France is a summer affair. Each town would organise a firework on the night of the 14th of July (Bastille day), to celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Bigger towns with bigger budgets have the best fireworks so it is quite common for small villages to have their own firework on the night of the 13th and then go and enjoy the bigger ones on the next evening 🙂
Wishing you all some beautiful fireworks this week!
La Toussaint is a catholic celebration of all the Saints (Toussaint= tous les Saints= all saints) that takes place on the 1st of November. It’s not the same as the Day of the Dead, which is the next day. La Toussaint is not a fun celebration like Halloween here, but the children have a two weeks holiday, and even the adults get a day off work on the 1st of November. Traditionally, people would buy flowers (usually chrysanthemum) and go to the cemetery on the family grave. This tradition tends to disappear but the sell of chrysanthemum is still huge at that time of the year.
Le mot du jour : “Sacrebleu !” (literally Holy blue)
Swearing words that no French people ever use in real life 😀 This expression started with Henri IV, king of France at the end of the XVI century, and well known for swearing a lot, using the sacrilege expression “sacredieu” (holy god). His religious advisors thought better for him to use something more respectful, and created the now well known “sacrebleu”. Even if you can find it in almost every article about France here, in reality people would be very surprised to hear someone use it. If you don’t want to seem too outdated, go with “La vache !” (une vache is a cow) 😄
Avoir la pêche : literally “to have the peach”, means to be energetic, full of beans. 😀 Nobody seems to be really sure of the origin of that turn of phrase. It can also be declined into “avoir la frite” (to have the chip).
Je vous souhaite à tous d’avoir la pêche pour cette nouvelle semaine ! I wish you all to be full of energy for this week!