Last weekend was Classe in St Symphorien sur Coise. It’s a parade and party for those celebrating decade birthdays – so this year, it’s those born in years ending with a 2. I’m not sure where the tradition comes from – some say it started as a last hurrah for those conscripted to fight in a war, or a thank goodness for those who weren’t. It was only open to men until the 1960s, and it’s really only in country Rhône and surrounding areas that they celebrate it – it doesn’t happen in Lyon.
As they parade around the town, led by a marching band and the gymnastics class, people wear coloured scarves according to their year and sing/dance/throw confetti/do Mexican waves and generally have a good show off! They have an apéritif in the park with everyone from town and then go on to one of those 8 hour French lunches together in the hall.
I was looking forward to 2019, so I could celebrate Classe for my 40th, but it turns out I can’t – I wasn’t born here. Dommage!