We are officially one week into the new year, into 2013.
I spent the first few days of the new year in France with my mother and my grandparents and it’s the perfect place for reflection. It’s always strange going there because they have no internet and as they live abroad I can’t use my phone so I spend several days disconnected from the world. I did feel the urge to check my emails and twitter several times but the bliss of it is I just can’t, so I spent time away from technology and got to focus on other things.
The house in which my grandparents is, for me, central to my childhood memories. When I was little we used to spend two weeks there for our summer holiday, I used to go stay with them on my own for a week at Easter each year and I’d go to the local school, we’ve visited them about 3 or 4 times a year since I was born. Although in recent years things have been a bit tough for them health-wise, I know they are still the wonderful grandparents I have had supporting me my whole life.
It was a nice, calm way to spend the first few days of 2013 just spending time with family, taking it easy, reading, eating… Personally I love traditions and in France, on the 6th of January, it is traditional to eat what is called a Galette des Rois (King Cake). It is basically a puff pastry pie filled with either apple sauce or frangipane. I bought an apple one to share with Tom on Saturday in London, and then we bought a frangipane one for the family yesterday.
Now the most important element of the galette (apart from the tastiness!) is that somewhere inside each one there is a little porcelain figurine, called une fève. Whoever has the figurine in their slice is crowned the King or Queen and gets to wear the crown. It was one of my favourite traditions as a child, I always hoped that I’d find the figurine. This year I found it in the little galette I had with Tom and my mother found the figurine in the family galette.
So this year starts with a very old tradition which in my mind is a nice way to start a new time. I have three weeks of time to myself now, I don’t start lectures till the 28th of January as it is currently exam period at uni (but I don’t have any!). I have lots of organisational things planned, tons of reading, baking, and writing to do. Hopefully it will be a good month to start the year!
What are your plans for January?
Do you have special traditions like this one?