Paris Fireworks on quatorze juillet 2013

Get your holidays right!

Noise and shouting in the narrow streets in St. Germain; drunken teens hanging from their windows, BYOB parties and adolescents standing in the metro drinking out of wine bottles. Typical Saturday maybe, but it was a Wednesday night.

Today, I went to throw out the trash and walked to our garbage disposal area in the courtyard. But something was different, for a Thursday morning it was oh so quite, oh so still. Normally, people go to work and our courtyard is swarming with suits and women dressed as if they’re going to a fancy funeral. The gardienne is, well… always talking to someone. This morning none of that, nobody, I was completely alone in the courtyard and there was nobody on the street. As I tried to open the closed garbage disposal area, it soon became clear what the hell was going on.

Happy WWII Victory day! Bonne fête de la Victoire, le jour de la libération!

Today we celebrate the end of World War II. I totally forgot that a lot of places and almost all the shops were closed.

In the Netherlands, the end of the occupation is celebrated on the 5th of May.

So, I looked up the holidays in France, in order to be prepared and next time join the party. My husband’s work doesn’t have all the French holidays so that doesn’t help either.

You don’t want what happened to some tourists in the Netherlands recently. Dressed up in orange they travelled to Amsterdam for the biggest party of the year – King’s Day, the day on which the Dutch celebrate their monarchy. This day, formerly known as Queen’s Day had been changed to King’s Day last year when the Queen’s son ascended to the throne. In all his wisdom, he had seen fit to change the decades-old tradition and move the day a few days forward. Poor tourists.

The tourist’s tour guides must have been out-dated because they were a few days late. Result: wary-looking tourists entirely dressed in orange desperately looking for the biggest party of the year… It could have been worse, I told myself when I took my garbage bag back in to the apartment…

So, when abroad, get your holidays right!

You can find the holidays of 2014 in France here and the holidays in Amsterdam here.

 Photo “Feu d’artifice du 14 juillet 2013” by Y. Caradec under CC license 

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