Fête Nationale 2018

Mea culpa, mea culpa… I’ve been so wrapped up in the season, I have failed to get the post and photos out. Fête nationale celebrates Independence. It is a day of feasting and of remembrance. At 11:30 am, each village will gather at their memorial to remember those who gave their lives for France.

20180714_200002Fête Nationale

A short walk across the footbridge and I see people arriving and reserving their seats. Some chairs are already turned inward and names written on the white paper tablecloth. Of course there is always a bit of switching at some point. A seat is often found for anyone who might arrive late or be alone. Here you are never alone long unless you choose to be.


To the left of the footbridge is a picnic area, well shaded, and four massive barbeque pits. To the right of those pits is a smooth area where, in good weather, you will find groups playing boules / pétanque. 


The gathering begins. You can see a bit of the roof over the snack bar where you can pick up your chosen apperitif. The socializing has begun and will last until the wee hours of the morning.


As you can see, things are set up for the DJ in the background.


Looking at this photo just now, I can see the green shutters of my house in the space between Michel and the young girl he is speaking with. 


After sunset, the chateau will be aglow. After dessert, about 10:30pm the fireworks will begin. They are shot from just behind the chateau and is quite a vision.




Manon is as sweet as she looks. Her father is one of the four doctors in the village.


Baugettes, wine, and salad ( baby spinach, red onion and sliced apricots in a smashing vinegrette) and the meal has begun. Besides the bottles of wine, and there are many, there is also bottled water. There is a large variety of tableware as here, each person or family, bring their own. 


While you cannot see the chateau through the trees, the old clock-tower is well lit. Next year I shall have to remember to sit on the other side so I have a better view of the chateau.


A literal cascade of feu d’artifice down the front of the chateau. Alas, I’m afraid it didn’t photograph well.



C’est magnifique! You can see the cascade of fire pouring down the front of the chateau and the rockets shooting toward the stars.


La chateau in all her glory.


Dance, dance, dance… The tables have been cleared away as were most of the chairs. The remaining chairs off to the side. The dancing will continue most of the night. Even people from nearby villages will come over to dance having had dinner in their own village first. You will often see parents and grandparents dancing with even the youngest of babies in their arms. As soon as they can stand, they are out there dancing the night away.

Bonne Fête et Bisous,


17 thoughts on “Fête Nationale 2018

  1. Dearest Lea,   How well I remember your village and the place where all of this is happening.   I  am so very happy for  you.   As you say, one is not alone for long — there are always friends in a wonderful village like yours.    Your pictures have brought back so many memories.   Thank you. 

    Parts of California are burning, but Sacramento is a very peaceful place.   I have tried to stay out of the heat when it is over 95 —  some days it has been 109!!   We do have smoke in the air but I try to stay inside. My health is pretty good — but I do not walk as well as I once did — I drive more and walk less.   I send you my love and best wishes for a continued happy life,  my dearest daughter.  Please stay in touch.   Love, Dad

    1. Dearest Dad, I wished you had more time when you were here. I think of you with me each market day in Narbonne as we sat by the Via Domita. I shall email you soon. Perhaps we can get you back on skype and have a chat when I can see you as well. I spoke with Rita yesterday and she filled me in on the fires and smoke. Your loving daugher, Léa

  2. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing. I would love to visit sometime. Your photos are a reminder that the world is kind. Not everything has to be filled with bad news.

    This made my day. Thank you.

    1. Merci mille fois Bryan! You are the first in nearly seven years to make such a comment. It is as if you were reading my heart and what I hoped this blog could do. You have certainly made my day and if you want it bad enough, I believe you will find your way here.

  3. I certainly will. I have an idea: Come to the Oregon coast where the Pacific Ocean and small town life thrive. I have a feeling you’ll love it. Keep in touch. 🙂

    1. My father’s cousin lives in Portland and I spent much of my life living in the states. I have been in the Pacific on both sides and the South China sea, The gulf of Thailand and both sides of the Atlantique… wherever I go, I don’t like being far from the sea. Yes, You do know where to find me. 🙂

  4. Wonderful post, thank you! I love how everyone brings their own dishes. In America, everyone would just use wasteful paper plates and plastic cups. But in Europe people always seem to have just as much fun while using fewer resources. I look forward to reading more posts. Cheers!

    1. Yes. Life is mindful and precious here as are the resources. Thank you for following one of my blogs and I shall look forward to getting to know you better.

  5. just like me, you’ve chosen to call FRANCE your homeland … ❤ “ubi bene, ibi patria…” = “la patrie est là où l’on se sent bien…” – “homeland is where you feel good…”(Cicéron)

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