In christmas all a little bit

Let’s start with the disorder: our loved one by us, the Bishop of the world of Lycian, during the Nicene One Ecumenical Cathedral, who doubted the Yereziarch Aria (doubting "Omows", that is, in the Orthodox sense of St. Trinity), never existed. That is, so assure scientists who found out of the preserved lists of delegates to the Council that the defender of traveling, children and besieged demons under the same name has never been listed in the church nomenclature of the IV century on. NS. But we are?

Although the Russians still should be remembered that brought together with a draft caused by the windows to Europe, the New Year’s Christmas cult of Santa Claus, Saint-Nicholas, has some relevant to the beloved Russian saint. Transformed for some reason in "Santa Claus". But children on all this is quite fair to do. The main thing – let it be a Christmas tree, its smell, anxious and happy waiting.

In the West, too, few people immediately identifies the rosy white-friendly donor with the legendary fighter for Orthodox. So let’s leave the miraculous remains of St. Nicholas, not that existing, not that is not (which in the end the difference, the main thing – helps).

In Paris, the capital of the country, which, according to Pope Paul VI (1963-78), must be baptized again, the arrival of each new year is associated with the inevitable drop in the usual standard of living. "Well, again, new taxes will invent. "

And I must say, invent, bastards. Either taxes or more whatever. But before all sorts of garde inventions of governments begin sales in stores – "Soldes". And the need to think about filling the tax return is partly compensated by the ability to buy shoes or a piece of cheese by 30% below the usual price.

Already two months before Christmas in Paris – as in other centers of Western civilization – the virus of the inevitable holiday begins to develop. First on TV, in the press and showcases there are modest alerts that these Merry Christmas and Happy New Year you, dear compatriots, enjoy much better than last time. Moulinex for you prepared the newest and self-sufficient apparatus for glowing frozen vegetables; Philosopher Bernard Henri-Levi invented the newest way to combat totalitarianism with the help of love for democratic society; Abbot Pierre – After all, it is necessary to think about the neighbor, Nzest CE PAS – again found money for the device free Harcheven for homeless.

And then more, more, more. Showcases of cafes and shops from the inside are filled with figures "Saint-Nicolas", goods, sent festive ribbons, synthetic coniferous branches, Christmas and New Year’s wishes, shining tinsel and faience bielots depicting the Virgin Mary,. Joseph, Magi – three kings and a royal infant. And outside, they are all fat to become silicone foam depicting the rare snow in these latitudes.

And if the snow still falls out that for some reason it happens under Christmas, the Parisians go crazy. So much that the most sporting skiing, and instead of going to the Alps, arrange the ephemeral track on the slopes of the Montmartre hill. The end of this strange slalom occurs near the rag market Saint-Pierre, occupied mostly Muslim shops. Elderly Arabs with Quran in her hand, African matrons in rainbow outfits and teenagers, trading grass, look at a perplexity. However, in Arab cafes and shops, except the most fundamentalist, sales are also arranged, and the Christian attributes are peacefully adjacent to the quotation hanging on the wall from the book obtained by the Prophet from Heaven. Even kosher shops (with the exception of those who are in the household of the holy security officers from the Hasidic sects) do not disgorge by Goy’s decorations.

And on, then, further. W "Medium" French, except for universal reasons to think (love, death, children, labor, disease, joy), there are two motivations that organize its existence. This is a thought of summer holidays and SADO-Masochistics meditation related to the events of the end of the year.

Vacation (translated, by the way, with Latin as "Dog Time") – God with them. In this case, you just copy money for a long time you think, can you go with your family (and if not – where to go children?) in the Jurassic Mountains, Tunisia, to the Antilles or Polynesia. That it would be good to buy a new swimsuit, folding table for picnic or trendy sunglasses.

Not when the leaves of chestnuts begin to be down. The Frenchman realizes that money by the end of the year will be clearly not enough, but making Christmas shopping will still have to. At the same time, he is waiting for the holidays with almost childish delight. He will give gifts, and he will give gifts.

It is at the end of the year that important acquisitions are usually made: a new refrigerator, a computer, dishwasher, dear clothes. Sales and real estate sales also increases. Naturally, it is accompanied by "ninth shaft" Advertising, which fell into the population. In the pre-Christmas season, the middle Frenchman fully corresponds to the image of an unimportant consumer, a member "prosperous consumer society". Even despite the fact that he lives in conditions of a protracted economic stagnation, which is constantly hears from all sides and speaks himself. Probably, before purchases were made with even greater ease; But even now, trying to be economical and judicial, trying not to acquire knowingly unnecessary things, the Parisan struggles with difficulty.

Even though Snow on the windows synthetic, but he is having fun heart. Bright tinsel, multicolored light bulbs, silver rain, transforming city, please the most suspended esthete. And what a luxury is browful in grocery stores!

In meat – carcass trees and boars, pheasants, quail, ceshards, turkey and geese; Barricades are built out of pate and all kinds of sausages. In the neighboring – sparkle with scales a variety of fish, the stone mountains of oysters are praying on the ice, dozens of types of mollusks and crustaceans, in the aquariums stiffed by lobster and lunguhsts. In the cheese air, it seems, it is overflowing a rainbow from aromas exhibited by hundreds of types of cheeses. Well, and green benches, and at another time, similar to the botanical garden, under Christmas turn into the jungle, where unthinkable tropical fruits are adjacent to white mushrooms and chanterelles, and fresh strawberries from Holland – with fresh dicks from Tunisia.

In the showcases of famous department stores are satisfied with real puppet theaters. Will jump on the veins in the vatnoy snow, Saint-Nicolas are carrying; Do something useful gnomes; Pary, going through wings in the artificial sky, angels; Call Bells in Toy Church. A special luxury of such performances is traditionally famous for the BON MARCHE department store ("Zadezhevo") – absolutely, however, not corresponding to its name – Sevr on the street. They come here how to the exhibition, they bring children, stand for hours, exchange impressions, rejoice.

But the greatest joy for children – "Nursery" (La Creche). This is a continuation of tradition "Christmas Vervetov", Theaters of the puppets depicting Christmas in Bethlehem nursery, worship of Magi, Flyer Herod. Earlier "nursery" Installed in churches, but now they have become a worldly entertainment that has an indirect attitude towards religion. The most important "nursery" Paris and France are installed on the square in front of the city mayor, Hotel de Ville. This is a huge tent, meters under a hundred-length, inside of which a whole country is built, a whole world. The moon shines, the stars flicker, the clouds stretch, in the landscapes depicting different countries from Greenland to Amazonia, the saturated puppet life passes. Characters go away from all ancient and modern world. Here and Tsari Volkhva Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, Snow White, and duckling Donald. And all this with the help of the latest technologies, all lasers and interactive computer systems. And around the tent stand, silver artificial snow and shining toys, specially brought mighty ate.

As already mentioned, the French are not very religious people in the mass. So the christmas trekking to church is not a mandatory custom. As a new year for us, christmas for the French – a celebration of the family. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that if for the Orthodox main holiday is Easter, then for Catholics and Protestants, at least even those only by name, this is christmas. This day remembers the links between generations. If possible, at the festive table tries to unite the whole family. Must be made gifts, everyone gives something to everyone. Gifts are made and colleagues, friends, neighbors. For christmas is put to give money and some small souvenir concierge, if it is. It is called "Etrenne". And certainly the greeting cards are sent (now often with email). It is clear how many worries! It is necessary to think about everything, try to give gifts to have a personal character, were funny, talked about your feelings. Yes, to meet the budget.

But most importantly, of course, Christmas dinner. Its menu is analyzed long before the holiday and is calculated in the trifles. And, despite the fact that the Christmas dinner has its traditional laws, the scope for fantasy always remains.

So, about the gourmet joy about Reveillon – so in French is called Christmas dinner, which means approximately "awakening".

According to custom, the menu necessarily includes a bird – turkey, goose or "Chapon" (Special view of chicken), and also "Foie Gras" – Pate of oily goose or duck liver. And all kinds of desserts. But in each individual case, dishes can change, it all depends on the region, from which the family occurs, from the tastes of its members, from culinary fashion.

Often dinner opens with oysters, and "Reveuon" The owner or hostess tend to fun. To sue alive oysters seems already insufficient for such an important holiday. On the table there may be hot oysters under the sauce of Luca-Shalot, Lemon and Orange. May and lobster, either stuffed with pike. The last, rather, appears under the influence of immigrants from Eastern Europe. Almost necessarily on the table will be a gentle chopped freshly chopped salmon. And at least a little black caviar: it is the most important sign of success, the food is symbolic for which many French are ready to sell their homeland.

Foie Gras is also a sign of social welfare, and in terms of good "foie gras" Not inferior to Icy. I will not go into the subtleties of her cooking, to tell how poor geese is drilled by grain and nuts, in detail talk about from which Pineau de Charrentes, Porto or Cognac, which spices should be marinade, how to binge "foie gras" And what kind of varieties are. Then you have to reason about the truffles, rare and expensive mushrooms, which are usually added to "foie gras". I will only inform you that this is an unusually tasty dish.

As for turkey or other birds, here the experienced cook has enormous opportunities for manifesting their talents. For example, turkey, stuffed with pork, bird liver, champignons, truffles, "foie gras" and raisins. Or breast Pintado (Pintadeau is a young Pintade, African turkey) with whiskey and green pepper. Or quail under onion sauce, celery, turnips, carrots, rosemary and black and green olives. Or Pintado stuffed with white blood sausages with truffles. Or duck under the marinade from grapefruits, oranges, mandarins, clementines and anise. And what is a goose with spicy herbs with a garnish of glazed pears and chestnuts! Why not "Chapon" with nuts, white ham, bird liver and mashed potatoes from celery. So just shove the turkey in the oven – unworthyly self-respecting owner.

Naturally, a French table can not do without cheese closer to dessert. Rather, cheese: several different cheeses are served to the table on a large dish. By tradition, Rokfort reigns among them among them.

As for us, winter holidays are associated with citrus. Probably, it went back since that time when these fruits were rare and exotic – many of us remember the teasing, magic smell of tangerines, mixing with the aroma of the New Year tree. Mandarins and France are definitely submitted to the Christmas table. In kind and cooked. For example, homemade ice cream from tangerines, Charlotte from Mandarins. But they can serve for cooking such dishes as, for example, a hot salad of forest mushrooms, green lettuce, young walnuts, goat cheese – and mandarins.

And actually dessert. This is a chocolate triumph in all kinds. "Just" chocolate candies (preferably, "Prelines" Good Belgian firms) or chocolate cake with dry fruit and nuts, cake "Queen Sava" (with almonds and vanilla), chocolate mousse with vanilla, with citrus, with saffron, "Zanert" With oranges.

Well and drinks. Of course, "Reveuon" accompanied by abundant (but well-structured). As it should be, begins with "aperitif", For appetite. A little bit whiskey, Porto, Gina Tonic. At the table – wine under each dish. And good: the holiday is not allowed to buy. Oysters pick up cold very dry wine from the Loire region either by Elsas Ringling, the same applies to fish. TO "foie gras" laid "Sotheran", Rare, expensive and very tasty golden natural semi-sweet wine from Bordeaux. To the bird – red, depending on the properties of the dish. If the food is quite heavy, with a strong own taste and aroma, then the wine is also served more "Corse", "Dense", From Bordeaux, "Caan" or "Tavel" Or something else in this spirit. If the dish is more gentle, then the wine must be easier – Burgu, Anjou or Tour. Naturally, Christmas dinner can not do without champagne.

Variety "Champags" Many, they are all different both in taste, and at the price, from less than 100 francs to the amounts passing for a thousand. The only law is to be real "ChamPaghe", no "sparkling" and "foamy" to the table and close not let. Champagne, like us, climb at midnight, but not considered reprehensible and drink to them oysters, "foie gras" or accompany them dessert. In the last decade in France, a fashion appeared on vodka: she began suddenly, with vague memories of the brilliance of the imperial balls in St. Petersburg, (where the vodka could not be filed), and communicated with caviar. And also with all sorts of Arctic exotic, which the French firmly rhymes with salmon from Norway. So you can get a vodka. In it, the French, I must say, did not learn to understand, and with the same delight, small sip, drink and very middle Polish vodka, like "Belvedere", or not always neat our "Metropolitan", and "Metropolitan" Authentic, I "Absolute", and "Finland". The only thing they exactly fully figured out, is that French products, it seems "Etheroff", You can only serve dilute orange juice on crowded receptions.

In christmas all a little bit

After the dessert, the time of coffee, cigars, tubes, peaceful and slow conversations occurs. AND "Dizhestiv", "digestive", To push everything absorbed in the body. Well push cognac, Calvados or "Eau de Vie" from pear, prunes, mirabels.

It is clear that "Reveuon", Starting hours at 9-10 pm, lasts almost before the hour, when the law-abiding French should already begin to wake up. Here they, kissed, go "Faire Dodo" or "Nager Dans Les Plumes". The first expression is from the children’s lexicon, something like our "Binky". Second, "Swim in feathers", More adult. I mean both one – sweet, put up, rest, knowing that in the morning you do not need to jump to work and fighting with economic stagnation, making money.

After christmas, most of the French almost or not working at all until January 6th. France – European champion by device "Bridges". If between two holidays there are working days in the amount of no more than a week, then they are usually declared non-working. Naturally, there are unfortunate – street cleaners, politicians and financiers, shops in shops, postmen and ambulance doctors, as well as the valiant defenders of the delicacies, who have to be. But every Frenchman whose oath or necessity does not force work these days, with a clean conscience resting. He earned this right, recorded in the Constitution. Even crimes during the Christmas holidays in France are accomplished less than usual.

Some are just lying on the sofa, watch TV, read something, wanted around the city, communicate with friends, make love from the heart – according to statistics, in France a lot of children are born in late October. Others leave the city who is where. Just to the province, to relatives, friends or to your own country. Others – south, as far as possible, so that under the hot sun get rid of winter Paris grocery. Someone – in Brittany, breathe on the saline ocean wind. Many ride in the mountains, skiing. Skiing in France is very popular. Some French are actually masters of slalom, high-speed descent and "Freestyleling". But for the majority – this is a way to rest and, more importantly, social mythology.

"Faire Du Ski" remain familiar to the middle class. Like tennis. But lower riding or golf. So during the Christmas holidays, tickets for trains going towards the mountains sometimes have to be reserved in advance (the same applies to hotels), and the motorways in the southeast direction turn out to be branded machines with skis on the roof.

Once somewhere in Chamonix, absolutely not necessarily sowing heads to roll on snowgram. You can also turn the neck. Much more pleasant, rising to the top of the slope, starting new acquaintances, get up in a canonical pose (one hand rests on the waist, the other resting on the handle stuck in the snow stick, one leg is elegantly bent in the knee, the other slightly thrown forward, showing that you are There is a powerful movement to be concealed from the place and rolling down, gaining an increasing speed and raising crystal clouds on turns). Having accepted this posture, you can conduct a pleasant conversation with your friend about the fact that snow today is too "adhesive", that the wind blows not on the other side and you do not want to show your art in such stupid weather. And also that the sun is blinded at this hour. At the same time, you can estimate the advantages and disadvantages of the equipment of your partner and think about whether you yourself should be bought up on glasses (maybe it was necessary to buy a real Ray Ban to buy?), ah, also on gloves too many stripes. But if the analysis did not turn out to be too depressing – the sweetest time "APRES-SKI", "Shoulder". With a sigh of relief, freeing from the armor – "God, as I’m tired, all the muscles hurt!" – In the hotel bar, decorated for ancient alpine hut, near the camel, continue a pleasant conversation. As a result, at the end of October of the next year, the population of the French Republic reveals a tendency to get rid of "Zero height".

One problem: sometimes snow does not happen. Once I travel with friends just these days through the already mentioned town of Chamonix near Mont Blanc. The slopes were naked, only on the main track of Sullah brought from somewhere white. Vacationers were elected throughout the streets, on asphalt, a slightly covered snowy aliens, cars were rumbled on wheels wrapped with chains. How so? In the mountains you need to ride with chains! I bought them! Mythology was irreparable, and how many human fate did not work out!

Paris in Christmas is still not empty, as it happens in August, during "Dog Time". In addition to tourists, it is quite a lot "Parigots", We have not left anywhere, and the day for three dumbfounded to the ability to live urban life. This is the time of the theater prime minister, the release of new films, gala concerts and super-party in fashionable "Boites" – "boxes", Nightclubs. However, in French "Box" It is called any institution where there is a boss and subordinates, from the government to the Sharacter, where the lattice of flush cars.

But it comes on December 31.

New Year, unlike Christmas, the family has no relationship. It’s night fun and rampant. Some run around restaurants and "boxes", Others celebrate at home. But now no longer with parents, grandchildren, nephews and sinks, and with friends. If so are there. Unfortunately, very many Parisians suffer from anonymity and isolation in a raging, compressed to the state of the grenade city.

New Year’s dinner does not have features. The same dishes are served to serve for "Reveon". But, of course, since another week did not pass, everyone is trying to file something that was not on December 25th. And already less formalities, fewer jewelry on the table (for Christmas, every hostess will attach all its aesthetic abilities to the choice of tablecloth, laying off the napkins, to compose a real winter bouquet, spreading in the apparent disorder of gilded nuts and plastics leaves.

After "Nouvel An", Tearing from the next portion of the mailing list of greeting cards (Congratulations at the same time Merry Christmas and the New Year is considered permissible, but not entirely polite), telephone purring and sleepless night, Parisian (not a fireman and not a broker on the stock exchange) Sweep again. The bridge usually continues until January 5, the day of the Epiphany.

On this day, in the evening, people are going again. Sometimes family, sometimes friends. The menu can already be any – although fish dishes or lamb are preferred (a clear reminder of the symbols of Christ, Fish and Lamb). But necessarily, as we have a cake for Easter, served "Galette des Rois" – "Pellet kings". "Galette de Rua" – it’s sweet and spicy cookies in which baked "Feve", Original kind of big bob.

Now "FES" not at all the pea, but a figurine made from ceramics – a gnome, king, birds, fish and in general,. Some bake this "Pellet kings" at home and sophisticated in the invention of witty "FES", others buy in a bakery or supermarket. It is served on the table necessarily crowned with a golden cardboard crown, and the one in the piece of which will be discovered "bean", It is coroned. It means that he will be happy all the coming year. Will not be surprised if Russian "Tsar Gorokh" is directly related to this custom.

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