The last quarter in Normandy and so in French in Normandy is quite exceptional..
First of all it is usually lovely weather and this year has been no exception in spite of a totally bizarre summer weather set and climate change !
Secondly there is so much going on in the city of Rouen and the region; from festivals celebrating the apple harvest and the prospect of new cider and calvados, to the scallop season, from Equidays that focuses firmly on horses which is one of the region’s most lucrative assets to the start of the Transatlantic Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre. Here in Rouen it is the start of the Foire St Romain.
The Foire St Romain has been an annual event from October to November since the 11th century.
The modern fair fills the city of Rouen with light in the dark months just before Christmas and puts us all in a festive mood. It used to be called the Faire of the Pardon as in the Middle Ages the fair began with the pardoning of a condemned criminal- this tradition went on well into the 18th century. At that point, the fair included a big animal sale n Day 1 as well as numerous stalls selling clothes, cloth, jewelry, and fashion accessories plus of course various theatre troupes for entertainment.
In the 19th century, the records show that the fair had lost most of the above and was now more a festival of street theatre with plays and troupes and events such as bareback riding shows or similar spectacles.
The fair took on its present form with rides etc during the 20oth century and moved from its 18th and 19th century original home near the Circus on the Boulingrin to the banks of the Seine on the South side – Rive gauche.
Today it has a permanent home in the Esplanade St Gervais at the end of the promenade along the right-hand bank of the Seine.
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French in Normandy organises fun evenings for the students at the fair and it also figures in our afternoon workshops as it is a piece of Rouen’s history and traditions.
Our workshop themes for this last quarter include the wonderful ballad by Francis Cabrel, Octobre.
and Ne en 1917 a Leidenstadt by Jean-Jacques Goldman
Alexandre Dumas and Maurice Leblanc are our authors of the month with super films in our Cine Club such as Le Diner des Cons, Indigènes and Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles.
As always there is something for everyone in our afternoon language and culture workshops.