Our first few years in France we were always ambushed by May. For this American atheist, the month is chock full of holidays unknown, not celebrated, or occurring at a different time:
- May 1 – Labor Day (in the fall in the US)
- May 8 – Victory in Europe Day (not celebrated in the US)
- May 13 – Ascension Day (some Christian thing)
- May 24 – Whit Monday (some Christian thing)
Stores and schools are closed, and if any of these holidays falls on a Thursday, you run the risk of another day of closure on the adjacent Friday. If you’re not prepared, as we were not for several years, then count on either eating out that night, or improvising something with some old pasta, sunflower oil, and freezer burned fish sticks.
France is funny: there’s the government policy of laïcité (secularism), which among other things dictates what religious clothing may or may not be worn in public (this seems to be mostly enforced against Muslim women), yet the French seem unwilling to apply this same secularism to their calendar.
It’s been a busy few months, and our team of writers and welders has been busy on other projects. As such, this time ’round it’s mostly a photo round-up.