In 1789 the French people revolted against the king, attacking the Bastille which was a prison but symbolized the monarchy. It was the beginning of democracy in France. I often wonder how much the American revolution had to do with the French Revolution. The French helped Americans free themselves from the King of England. They armed the Americans, sent weapons and supplies and eventually their army and navy. I wonder if the French people saw that and said to themselves, we want that too. As it turns out they traded the King for an Emperor, which is basically short of King, so not a lot changed for them over the next few years. Think of Bastille Day as France’s Independence Day.
How to celebrate – Visit France. Read about the French Revolution. Go see the Bastille.
Eating snails maybe a real treat, I will never know. The idea of eating something that crawls along the ground has never appealed to me. To others though, snails are a delight. I believe the French, who were among the first to see this creature crawling on the ground and said, to themselves, “Yum”. However, leaving them entitled “Snails” may have turned others off so they named them Escargot instead. (That’s probably not true but I don’t really want to find out) If you eat snails remember to extend your little finger so people know you have class cause otherwise they might just think you are weird.
How to celebrate – Have some escargot. Go out and see if your supper is climbing your walls. Visit France.
The Battle of Puebla in 1862 saw the Mexicans beat a highly trained French army in their long struggle for freedom. It did not bring about Independence but it was a celebrated victory that went a long way in winning freedom and gave the Mexicans a victory to celebrate raising morale and helping them keep the faith. Though Puebla was technically in the United States, California still held a large population of Mexicans, and of course, the Americans were in a Civil War of their own. Even so, it was a great victory bringing about a national reason for joy and hope.
How to celebrate – Read about the battle of Puebla. Learn more about Mexico. Throw a Cinco de Mayo party.
When we think of pretzels we often think Germany, and beer. Well, the world’s oldest snack food actually came out of France around 610 AD when Monks created the treat to represent children’s folded arms while in prayer. You can get pretzels salted, and unsalted, and in numerous different flavors today and generally speaking, while not exactly healthy, they aren’t all that bad for us. You can get hard pretzels or soft pretzels, big pretzels or small pretzels, you can even get them mixed with other snacks like popcorn, peanuts and raisins. (And you don’t have to have beer but it does make them better)
How to celebrate – Have some pretzels. Learn how to make your own pretzels. Become a Monk.
National Champagne Day December 31st
Champagne is a sparkling wine named for the region it comes from in France. It is appropriate that today falls on December 31st when many, many bottles will be uncorked to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Raise a glass and bring in the New Year with something as bright and bubbly as we all hope your future will be.
How to celebrate – Welcome in the New Year. Celebrate the
New Year with a glass of champagne. Visit the Champagne region in France for
the New Year.
Well if you feel guilty about eating a dessert after a meal today is your day not to worry about it. In fact, today you should be eating that dessert because it National Dessert Day. Heck, maybe you can even forget the meal and just go directly to the dessert! and maybe, if you are like me, I feel a little guilty but I eat it anyway so does today give me the right to eat two desserts? And if you are one of those that doesn’t eat all your dinner because you want to save room for dessert, well today you don’t need to worry about it. Maybe you could have a healthy dessert lie some fresh fruit or something. Is carrot cake a healthy dessert? Even though the French make a ton of desserts, Americans are some of the most dessert concerned people in the world. Why are we concerned? Because we might miss out!
How to celebrate – Have a dessert today. If you normally have dessert anyway, have two today! Have dessert before your meal so you don’t have to leave room for it.
Pastry stuff with cream, what more could you ask for? Then, add chocolate to the top of it becomes a masterpiece! I particularly like the little bit sized ones because it doesn’t look like you are eating as much as with the normal sized eclair but in truth, you probably eat more of them because they are so small. They make for great desserts, snacks or in a pinch, even an entire meal! (I do not suggest eating them as a meal but then, who am I to say). Eclairs were created in France somewhere between the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Apparently it took several attempts to come up with the perfect blend. Well I am glad they kept trying because to me, it makes for the perfect treat.
How to celebrate – Buy some eclairs. Make your own eclairs at home. Throw and eclair party with different types of fillings.
June 6th -_ D-Day
156,000 soldiers landed on Omaha, Utah, Gold, Sword and Juno
beaches to reclaim Europe from Nazi Germany on June 6th, 1944.
Thousands would give their all on this day, Canadians, British, French and
Americans. It was the one day in the early part of June that had clear enough
weather the Allies could actually attempt the landing, and an attempt it was.
The Germans had built up the beach defenses to an extreme and though the Allies
were fairly sure they could hold some of the beaches it really was done on a
hope and a prayer. The landings were preceded by parachute drops and the
resistance causing as much havoc as they could. The landing, requested by the
Russian, did succeed however and it was the beginning of the end for the Third
How to celebrate – Remember all those who served in World War 2 (there aren’t many left). Visit the beaches where many of the wrecks have been left reminding us of the day. Read a book written from those who survived the day.
May 25th National Wine Day
Do you prefer red or white? Do the best wines in your opinion come from France, Italy or California? There are wines you serve before dinner, during dinner and after dinner. There are pink wines, sweet wines, bitter wines but they all come from grapes. So the better harvest of grapes available, the better wine selections that are available. Some are very expensive, some are cheap and some are just glorified vinegar.
How to celebrate – Have a wine tasting party. Visit a
vineyard. Learn how to make your own wine.
Today Mexicans (and Americans) celebrate Cinco de Mayo (often confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th). Cinco de Mayo celebrates the remebrance of the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. France controlled Mexico in the early 1860’s and Mexico wanted their freedom (they fairly won it at Puebla). It was France’s second intervention in Mexico, but it was also their last. Perhaps a little strange is that Mexico’s battle for freedom occurred on what is today American soil. Puebla is in California near Los Angles. Spain and Britain also went to war with Mexico but came to terms before the battle.
How to celebrate – Study the history of Mexico. Celebrate Mexico’s freedom from foreign interference. Visit the site of the battle.