La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Archive for the tag “fête”

Classe of 2012/2002/1992/1982…

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. 

The band led the parade.

See the different coloured scarves – green for 1992, yellow for ’82 etc.

Apéro in the park!

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!



A slice of epiphany…or 3

And just when I thought all the feasting was over (yesterday was our third and final Christmas lunch, with Sim’s dad’s family), one snuck up that I’d forgotten about! It’s Epiphany, and time for la galette des rois (the cake of kings)! I think the galette is different in different parts of France, but the one we have  is a delicious cake of crispy, flaky puff pastry, with a thick frangipane filling. Not only does it taste amazing, it also comes with a paper crown, and a fève (trinket) hidden within.

Galette frangipane. Complete with Tintin-themed fève.

The traditional fève was literally just that, a fève – a broad bean. Nowadays, fèves are much more commercialised exciting, and can be anything from a building to a cartoon character.

Spotto fève! Bianca Castafiore, opera diva.

Whoever scores the fève after the cake is sliced and served also scores the crown and becomes king for the day! What this entitles, I don’t exactly know. In Sim’s family, they have to sing a song. It’s also tradition, he tells me, for the youngest person to sit under the table and dictate who gets which slice.

The king. Once he climbed out from under the table!


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