We live in a very small village in the beautiful Parc naturel régional du Morvan in Burgundy. The Cérémonie des voeux, drinks with Monsieur le Maire, took place on Saturday. Everyone in the commune was invited to share le verre de l’amitie (glass of friendship) and toast the New Year.
It’s one of the few occasions during the year when we all get together. Neighbours who are busy working, either on their farms or they live in the more remote parts of the commune so we don’t get to see them. There are well under 200 people in the commune and it was good to see some young families I hadn’t seen before. We were warmly welcomed and it was great to see that so many of neighbours are now our good friends too.
We were offered a glass of Cremant (delicious local champagne) and Cassis (blackcurrant) which is known as a Kir Royale and a big slice of Galette de Roi. The cake is traditionally served at New Year and whoever finds the favour hidden inside is King for the evening and has to wear the crown.
Before the toast the mayor made a speech explaining how 2018 went, what the budget was spent on and thanked everyone for their help with events and activities that had taken place. The mayor went on to talk about this year’s projects including building works, a census, new activities and plans. When he reported that the commune had bought an extra chainsaw, and can now boast three chainsaws, you get an idea of our priorities and how rural we are.
The mayor ended by saying that France is currently in a “delicate” situation. All I know is that in a world full of uncertainty, hate and violence, I am more grateful than ever to live in this quiet and beautiful corner surrounded by people who work together and care for each other.
Bonne année! Happy New Year! Frohes neues Jahr! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!