Bonjour chers amis,
Here we land again in your Inbox….
July is already here and in 11 days, on July 14th, French people will celebrate their National Day - "La Fête Nationale" - known as "Bastille Day" in Anglophone countries.
Since this year 14th of July falls on a Tuesday many people will "do the bridge" - or how they say here "faire le pont" - meaning will take the Monday 13th off for a long 4 days weekend.
And now about June…
As usual the summer solstice was celebrated all over France with the "Fête de la Musique" - the "national" music festival.
This year July 21st was also the "Father's Day" and one day in the "National Archeology Days".
My favorite event of June, or "mon coupe du coeur" how my French friends would say, was however the biennial "Festival of Pastel" held this year for the second time on the grounds of Loubens-Lauragais village castle, just some 20km or 16 mi west of Toulouse.
The pastel is the blue dye made from dried woad leaf balls called "cocagne", color that became very fashionable with the French aristocracy in the 14th centuries.
The woad, grown in the Toulouse region and its issuing dye, brought immense wealth to the south west of France until the 16th century when it was replaced with the cheaper indigo dye brought first from India and then from the New World.
The affluence created by the pastel trade can be appreciated in the imposing private residences, "hôtels particuliers", of the 15th and 16th century, that still exist in Toulouse and Albi but also in the expression "pays de cocagne" literally translated as "land of cocagne" which signifies the "land of plenty".
Check out photos and more information about "Festival of Pastel" by clicking here.
And a good piece of news for the American subscribers to this newsletter, the famous "jambon de Bayonne", Bayonne ham, can be bought now, for the first time, in the States. The first batches, produced by Delpeyrat Company, arrived last week in US after five years of work for obtaining the FDA agreement.
... and some of July month's events (the list does not include the year round activities)