This is in France the Easter week end. The French take their Easter sunday very seriously. Not so much for religious reasons, though churches in France are usually full on two dates, December 24th for la Messe de Minuit which is midnight mass, and for Paques, which is Easter.
You can talk with any Frenchman and he will tell you " Ah je ne vais plus a l'Eglise" which means " Ah I dont go to Church any more," but for Paques, they will all tell you, " Ah c'est Paques, on y va." which of course means " It's Easter, and I am going, (to church)" and they will all look at you, frowning, like this is so evident, how do you not get it. So in effect, when you think of it, all those beautiful churches have been built in the end for two days in the year.
Except of course, weddings, and baptisms. And again they will look at you talking about the daughter of a friend, and they will become totally horrified, saying " Comment, Aurelie ne se marrie pas a l'Eglise ?" which literally means, " What ? Aurelie is not getting married in a church?" like this is the worst thing they have ever heard.
It has definitely nothing to do with the fact they do not go to Church, do not read the Bible, probably might not believe in a Catholic God or any God, but God forbid that Aurelie would get married only at City Hall, and not in front of a regular priest too.
This is the French way, so Easter is really an important date. First you go to church, and there, attend any Easter Mass in any church in France, and you will see the local priest look very starry eyed at the congregation and say under his breath, " Oh my, I have never seen my church so full, ever." Of course he says that under his breath in French so it sounds even better.
After the Church, you stop at the pastry shop and buy " un oeuf en chocolat" which is only " a chocolate egg" just like one of those :
And where you buy your chocolate egg is not anywhere, it has to be at the really, really good pastry shop or rather at a chocolatier, which is just a chocolate-maker. But the chocolatier has this added under his name,
which only means : "epicurean stop." The French take their epicurean stops very seriously.
Once you have bought your chocolate egg, you just walk home where you will have the Easter Lunch with the family, the uncles, the aunts, the grandpa and the granny. And everyone will eat the "agneau de Paques" which is the Easter lamb roast. And during lunch, the grandpa will ask the grand-child "si il lit beaucoup" which only means if the grand-child still reads a lot, that is one of the vital questions the French ask their grand child.
And the grand-child says he does, and then the grandpa will stick his index finger up, and will announce that his grand child must have lots of books because " une piece sans livre est comme un cops sans ame," which only simply means " a room without books is like a body without a soul" or just like in here :
and as you can see here, Cicero said that, so that is not something new.
This was written on a fence, in a street where a huge excavation was made to build a huge new development. As you can see, the French really like to put up smart fences. Anything for a cultural facade, just as that other one, where on the square where the Ritz Hotel is being remodeled, on Place Vendome, the column in the center, the Colonne [ column ] Vendome is also being redone, and they also built up a cultural facade all around it as you can see below :
Nothing extravagant can faze the French.
Here on the door of a shop is a new opening being announced :
It says " PROCHAINEMENT, OUVERTURE du magasin de SORCIERES" or simply put in rough english : " SOON, OPENING of a store of WITCHES."
You probably will like the fact that the last word has been underlined three times.
And that, dear Reader, is how the French enjoy cultural facades.
With all love,