Friday, February 13, 2009
Who cares about February 13 when the big fluffy day is tomorrow, right? Well I kinda do. You see, February 13th is my fête, aka the Feast of Saint Beatrice. That's right, Beatrice has a day named after her, like Patrick and Valentine. Henri, Robert and many others also do, for that matter; they just didn't have the right connections at Hallmark I guess.
The fête is a day that is supposed to honor the memory of a particular saint, whichever gruesome way they got to meet their maker; but like many French traditions, it is largely secular nowadays despite being rooted in religion. I've heard it described as a second birthday; it's a bit like that I guess.
Typically friends, family and coworkers will say "bonne fête!" to you; maybe you'll get a card, or flowers, or a little sumthinsumthin'. Florist web sites often have a fête reminder or let you look up fête dates; and after the evening news, the weather forecast guy typically announces whose fête it is tomorrow. Woe to who forgets!
Interestingly, I've noticed an anti-Valentine trend on French sites recently, and encouragements to boycott Valentine's Day and celebrate Saint Beatrice instead. I say bring it on!
Here's a French site that lists the names to celebrate each day of the year: http://www.saint-dicton.com/mois/fevrier.php . Makes me glad I wasn't named Adeltrude.