BONNE ANNEE !
BONNE SANTE !
This is what the French wish for each other at the beginning of each new year. They send out SMSs or electronic cards, some still send traditional cards by snail mail throughout January.
Most Christmas decorations were taken down after 6th January when they traditionally celebrate the visit of the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus. There are several versions of the Galette des Rois (pastry or bready type round patisserie in honour of the 'Kings') and this is shared by families, at work places, through invitations to friends, etc.
It's surprising to note how many holidays are still connected to a religious celebration, and yet how ferociously the French want to keep out any religious references in public life ! But these are all occasions for our churches and believers everywhere to organise events which remind people of the original reason for these days. Our church did 2 Christmas play performances with 115 people in the public at each performance. Once of our best this time around. However, we didn't do anything for Galette des Rois. We'll have to get cracking to organise something appropriate for Easter, but not sure the energy levels will hold up.
I close in wishing each and everyone of you, dear readers, a blessed New Year in 2013. The Lord didn't return end 2012, nor did the world end, so God still has plans for us. May we be counted amongst the faithful this year, enjoying our special status of Child of God. May we be able to communicate the joy, the peace and the love this brings us. May we be a blessings to others.