Epiphany in France and elsewhere

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Epiphany in France and elsewhere


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Old 5th January 2020, 12:56 PM
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I guess we all know that in France the galette des à la frangipane is synonymous with Epiphany, or the couronne des rois in the south. I don't recall any celebrations in Australia, but when we lived in the UK it was always our final day for Christmas decorations and pretty much marked the end of school holidays.

I saw this article that may be of interest to some https://www.franceinter.fr/au-fait-c...tqyuMIHSbwLETU, not least in terms of the number of galettes des rois sold in France!

So do you celebrate Epiphany, did you do so back home, and how?
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:07 PM
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I often say that I stayed on in France after my divorce because we never stop eating: Christmas, New Year, Galette des Rois, crêpes in February, which brings us nearly up to Easter...etc.

How do all those chic French women stay so slim?
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Old 5th January 2020, 03:12 PM
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Not related to Epiphany but to French eating: when I was learning French at school, one of the teachers organised a French afternoon for us. Fernandel film, we learned a song (Tout va bien Madame la Marquise) and were promised a real French tea (we were told it was called gouter) to round off the jolly proceedings.

There was much excited speculation about the tea: we imagined cakes and crepes and lined up to receive it.

We were each given a piece of dry bread and a couple of squares of chocolate and our disappointment was very vocal. We felt very sorry for French children being fobbed off with such a stingy tea, thinking that it was all they had in the evening before bed. Our fish fingers and baked beans seemed like a feast in comparison.

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Old 5th January 2020, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverHopeful View Post
So do you celebrate Epiphany, did you do so back home, and how?
Over here in Austria, well in the Salzkammergut (just south of Oberosterreich where we live) where we were today, there were bunches of men dressed in white with big candlelit head decorations, in several locations, getting ready for this:


After New Years, here at home up near Linz, we got kids dressed as the three kings singing at the door for charity donations and saw another bunch parading in the early evening which was a bit spooky. Gave the ones at the door a donation and they chalked an Epiphanytide blessing over the door: 20 * C + M + B + 20

There's a thing here about needing to chase away evil spirits, even on 6 Dec, Saint Nick appears with evil demons before they are chased away, and today's parades were to bring good luck too..
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Old 5th January 2020, 05:29 PM
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@ EH: I'll be making a galette à la frangipane as soon as we've finished the mince pies!
(probably tomorrow )
Didn't do anything special in the UK for Epiphany.

@ Vérité: a piece of fresh baguette (still warm from the oven) with two squares of chocolate ...mmmm... and a cup of hot chocolate made with real chocolate (not cocoa) ... mmmmmmmm...
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Old 5th January 2020, 08:08 PM
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My former in-laws used to leave their Christmas tree up until Epiphany but as far as I know did not celebrate Epiphany in any other way except perhaps a special church service. 3 of their 4 parents were the children of immigrants from Germany, so I have always assumed this was a German custom. But maybe not!

My tree is still up and I'm planning to take it all down tomorrow night. I'm using the excuse of leaving it until Ephiphany but really I just think it looks so pretty I want to leave it up as long as possible!
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Old 5th January 2020, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaju View Post
Over here in Austria, well in the Salzkammergut (just south of Oberosterreich where we live) where we were today, there were bunches of men dressed in white with big candlelit head decorations, in several locations, getting ready for this:

Das war der Glöcklerlauf 2019 in Bad Ischl www.stv1.at - YouTube

After New Years, here at home up near Linz, we got kids dressed as the three kings singing at the door for charity donations and saw another bunch parading in the early evening which was a bit spooky. Gave the ones at the door a donation and they chalked an Epiphanytide blessing over the door: 20 * C + M + B + 20

There's a thing here about needing to chase away evil spirits, even on 6 Dec, Saint Nick appears with evil demons before they are chased away, and today's parades were to bring good luck too..
Hope you are enjoying Austria, Kaju.
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Old 5th January 2020, 08:48 PM
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Here in Spain, Epiphany sees the arrival of the 3 kings with a procession through the streets and sweets being dished out to the children (these sweets are leftovers from those set by for the disgusting American version of Hallowe'en which are collected afterwards and put into the communal pile for distribution at reyes.

We have Roscón de Reyes. Which is a bun ring topped with angelica, nust and slices of orange, split and filled with cream in which is hidden a bean (who gets it, has to buy the next year's roscón) a small effigy (might be a baby or a king.) The finder of the effigy is made host for the party and wears a cardboard crown (supplied in the box.)

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Old 6th January 2020, 07:56 AM
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Hope you are enjoying Austria, Kaju.
It's a little colder, but nice enough - we'll be here for about another year, which will give us time to look at a few residential places for our son in Germany. We still have most things in boxes in Australia, or I might have made a galette des rois, have done in the past, the kids always loved the figurines in it.

We asked for Austrian permanent resident status by showing our UK and German passports, then the health fund wanted pre-existing health cover from the UK so I said "But I'm Australian" and gave them that passport instead. They just laughed and said "Alright, then!" - there is universal state cover if you have permission to live here long-term. But I was very careful and friendly with all public officers, and asked for their help, and thanked them a lot - you know what I mean!

It was a bit hard to get into the state health system, (which we needed for the permanent residence permit, as we had to have that permit to get the state health cover!). We needed to buy an expensive private policy for 6 months cover before the state system kicks in (as we have no history of medical cover in Europe), and I had to translate about 60 pages of English policy to German for the migration person at the local government office that deals with residence permits. That took a few days, but he accepted it. And although my wife gets a German pension and should automatically get German cover in any EU country, we're still struggling with that, as her original provider says no. Another provider does look more hopeful though.

Austria is fine, people are all friendly, shops are good although the country shuts on Sundays and there are 16 public holidays like Heilige Drei Konige today! Bells ring everywhere, all very religious, heaps of shrines all over the place, but we are a bit rural - not too much though) So we're off to the Czech Rep for a little shopping today (maybe an hour away). But after this year we will make the next move - I expect to Germany, but still would be happy to make it down near Narbonne - there is a possible place there for our son, and we know and like the area. In Germany I'd miss being near the sea.

For a way to get into the German public health system, going to Austria is not cheap but it is effective (UK, France, Ireland and Cyprus would also work) as otherwise even basic German cover for older folks is likely to cost more than 700E per month, per person! So we'll recover the Austrian expense soon enough. After one year in an EU country's state health system you can transfer into any other.

Now where's my Australian driving licence, about time to change that, I suppose!

We'll see what the future brings. I hope you're getting by ok too!
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Last edited by kaju; 6th January 2020 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 6th January 2020, 09:00 AM
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Sounds complicated, Kaju! Still, I guess if you manage to get it sorted, all will be well. I have to say, though, that it is much easier to get into the French system, but of course your wife's situation needs to be sorted out elsewhere.
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