Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Le Marché de Noël

Last weekend Pierrelatte had their annual Christmas market, so I decided to meet up with the other assistants on Saturday for a pre-market picnic by the lake. I have very few pictures of the other assistants, but this one was taken on our way to the lake.

Me, E, K, C (the Spanish assistant), and M (another American assistant)

We walked for at least twenty minutes to get to the lake and it reminded me a lot of Freestone Park. Personally I still think I prefer Freestone, but it was nice to go somewhere new. It was also super cold. While we were shivering over our sandwiches, someone made the comment that we would be the only people crazy enough to go to the park for a picnic in winter. 

Me and an underwhelming tree


One of my favorite parts of the Christmas market was the animals. Maybe it's just because I've never seen a flock of geese waddling around in public, but I was highly entertained.

The baby in the upper left corner is clearly used to seeing geese...

Is that you, Eeyore?

D (Italian assistant), K, and Me. And a Santa band.
Here is the Santa band in action:

One Christmas tradition in France is for Santa Claus to descend from a high point in the village, or in the case of Pierrelatte, the clock tower. The square below was packed with families waiting for Santa to come down. I took a video of the beginning of Santa's descent, but it wasn't quite as eventful as I'd hoped it would be. I guess it was silly of me to expect for him to come flying off the clock tower like Tinkerbell at Disneyland, but I lost patience and stopped filming after a few minutes. He also tossed down candy to the children after I turned my camera off.

Next we went to find a good spot for the fireworks. The fireworks were launched from the top of the tourism office, but at first we weren't even sure if fireworks were actually happening because they played the entirety of the opening song from The Lion King (in French) before setting any off.

And then they played "The Bare Necessities" from The Jungle Book in French.
And then "Heigh-Ho" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in French.
And then "Scales and Arpeggios" from Aristocats in French.
And then "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" in the original version -- they knew they couldn't just go dub Julie Andrews and get away with it. 

It wasn't until the end of the fireworks that they actually played a Christmas song in French. 

Once the initial shock of random Disney songs being played for a Christmas fireworks show wore off, the fireworks were quite impressive. They definitely could have been better synchronized with the music, but they were just about as pretty as fireworks can get. 

The next day, I told my host family how the Christmas music I've heard in stores and around town is always in English and asked them what French Christmas songs are popular. Here is the best known French Christmas song in France: Tino Rossi's "Petit Papa Noel"

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