St Nicholas Day
I remember yesterday when I told you about Black Peter you were like "wut" and stuff so I think it'll be worth telling you the story of St Nicholas.
In France, only three regions have ties with St Nicholas Day, Lorraine being one of them. It happens on December 6th so I'm one day late but well, it just works!
So on the week-end closest to the 6th or 7th there is usually a parade with Saint Nicholas and Bogeyman (aka Père Fouettard). When I was a kid, I loved to attend. Nowadays it's not the same anymore, they made it crappy! There used to be a little donkey carrying baskets filled with sweets that would be thrown in the crowd by Saint Nicholas.
The Père Fouettard scares the children with his whip made out of branches and tries to gives them pieces of coal. Amusingly, he's called Krampus in Germany ;)
During this time, the most popular story of Saint Nicholas (it's also a French song!) is told. So I'll tell it to you too:
One day a peasant asked his children to go into the fields to get the leftover wheat from the harvests. They spent hours doing so and the night caught up on them. Quickly, they understood they were lost, but kept walking...
Suddenly, one of them saw a light far away. They headed there together and found a lonely house. They knocked on the door and a fat man opened it.
"Could you please let us sleep here?" the children asked...
"Come inside children," he said, "I am a butcher and I will give you food.
As soon as they were inside, the butcher killed them with his biggest knifed, diced them and put them to salt.
Seven years later, Saint Nicholas came to the house and asked for supper.
"Do you want a piece of ham?", the butcher asked
"No, it's not good!"
"Maybe a slice of veal?"
"Are you kidding me? It's ugly. I want the salted meat you've been keeping in your salting box for seven years!"
Hearing that, the butcher ran away as fast as he could.
The great saint went to the salting box and sat on is side, raising three fingers. The three kids came back to life.
You guys got it wrong
But you're forgiven. I mean, your Santa Claus derives from Saint Nicholas whereas the gift giving is associated with the day and not the Saint! Ah well! With our legends and stories, your Grinch seems pretty nice to me ehehe!
Your chocolate for today is both the French song, the lyrics and their translation, but also a re-enactment of what my mom did tonight (though you gotta ask me about it. It'll make you melt though c:).
Anyway here is the song. I'm sure you'll like it.
Il étaient trois petits enfants
Qui s'en allaient glaner aux champs
Tant sont allés tant sont venus
Que sur le soir se sont perdus.
S'en furent un soir chez un boucher
- Boucher voudrais-tu nous loger?
- Entrez entrez petits enfants
Y'a d'la place assurément.
Il n'étaient pas sitôt rentrés
Que le boucher les a tués
Les a coupés en p'tits morceaux
Mis au saloir comme pourceaux.
Saint-Nicolas au bout d'sept ans
Vint à passer dedans ce champs
Alla frapper chez le boucher
- Boucher voudrais-tu me loger ?
Entrez entrez Saint Nicolas
Y'a d'la place, il n'en manque pas
Il n'était pas sitôt rentré
Qu'il a demandé à souper.
- "Voulez vous un morceau d'jambon?
- Je n'en veux pas il n'est pas bon
- Voulez vous un morceau de veau?
- Je n'en veux pas il n'est pas beau."
- "Du p'tit salé, je veux avoir
Qu'il y a sept ans qu'est dans le saloir"
Quand le boucher entendit c'la
Hors de la porte il s'enfuya.
- Boucher, boucher, ne t'enfuis pas
Repents-toi, Dieu te pardonn'ra
Saint-Nicolas alla s'asseoir
Dessus le bord du saloir
- "Petits enfants qui dormez là
Je suis le grand Saint-Nicolas !"
Et le Saint étendit trois doigts
Les p'tits se l'vèrent tous les trois.
Le premier dit : - "J'ai bien dormi!"
Le second dit : - "Et moi aussi"
Et le troisième répondit :
- "Je me croyais au Paradis!"