Posted by: kathandroger | November 12, 2011


At the end of October and early November France seems to be adorned with Chrysanthemums of all colours. The local parks, florists and markets look a picture. Here is one that we were kindly given by our neighbours a couple of weeks back when they came for dinner…

Now as well as looking pretty – and being one of the few flowers blooming at this time of year – they have a special association here…the dead. Every All Souls Day, during the half term Toussaint holidays, people take Chrysanths to the graves of their loved ones to honour the dead. Have a look at Jim McNeill’s excellent blog entry

Now our neighbours are English and unaware of the tradition, and therefore a pretty Chrysanthemum would seem a perfectly good gift to take to a dinner party. In fact a couple of years ago we got one too, but felt it rude to say anything. Then, this week, during a french lesson on Toussaint and the traditions of All Souls Day, the teacher said it would clearly be wholly inappropriate to give the flower as a present… Can just imagine Steve’s face now! Good job it was only us and not some French people, unaware that the Brits don’t understand the significance of Chrysanths….

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