Bonne Année 2019!

I have recently discovered (through Brit Abroad’s latest blog post on Christmas traditions in France) that wishing a fellow citoyen a hearty “Bonne Année!” before January 1st is considered bad luck. Enquiring of my husband (who has spent over two-thirds of his life in France) whether this new and crucial information was indeed true, I was met with a nonchalant shrug and a ‘Yep’. I have been writing Christmas cards containing those ill-fated words to his meilleurs amis in Paris (which he dutifully signs each year, obviously without reading) and unwittingly cursing innocent victims in Carrefour, the doctor’s surgery and beyond for years, without him ever mentioning to me the impropriety of my actions. Clearly this explains our long-running spate of bad luck, which must inevitably now run into 2019, since, starting in late-ish December, I have once again uttered those dreaded words to anyone unlucky enough to cross my path.

So, whilst I prepare to steel myself for whatever calamity 2019 has in store and to look forward with hope and optimism to 2020, at least I may now safely wish you all “Bonne Année!” and a marvellous start to 2019!

Here are my resolutions:

  1. Never again to wish anyone a happy new year in France before January 1st;
  2. To survive 2019;
  3. To maintain/work on my 2018 resolutions, particularly in terms of completing more of my 2017 DIY list (essentially just copied and pasted on to new lists from year to year); reducing plastic consumption and wasting less generally; and finding the time to read and write more for pleasure;
  4. To go on more ‘dates’ with my fellow lodger/husband;
  5. To persuade my son that he would much rather feed himself, at the grand old age of three, than stick to our current arrangement of “Oo feed me, Mama”. It is a wonderful feeling to be so needed but a little more independence would do neither of us any harm.



Mots du jour:

Bonne Année – Happy New Year citoyen – citizen meilleurs amis – best friends

15 thoughts on “Bonne Année 2019!

  1. We sent very few cards this year, but those that did have French greetings in had (I think) “Meilleurs Voeux ” or “Bonnes Fetes de fin d’année” Do you think I got away with it? I did wish the families of my private students “Bonne Année” (when I sent them their bills!) but that was on 31st December – which I think probably counts as being a new year. I hope so, anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I imagine so! 🙂 I suppose if they didn’t receive the bills before 1st January then you’re definitely in the clear 😉 I just can’t believe I’ve lived over here for nearly 8 years and was never aware of the custom…


  2. In German you can wish people a good “slide” into the New Year, but you can’t actually utter the words “frohes neues Jahr” until midnight on the 31st. I’m not sure whether wishing a happy New Year too early is bad luck, but saying happy birthday before the actual day definitely is (as is daring to actually celebrate your birthday before the actual day – better to have a party a whole week after your birthday than one day before!)


    1. Ooh I like the sound of a good slide onto the year! 🙂 I love finding out new customs from different countries. I’d never heard of it being unlucky to wish someone happy birthday before the day. I hope you had a “good slide” this year 🙂


  3. I sincerely hope you came across the Brit Abroad’s post after you rang us and wished us HNY hours before midnight last night? Perhaps as we are not citizens of France, from where you sent the message, it doesn’t count anyway? I am, luckily, stoutly un-superstitious, and came to no harm by starting my 60th birthday celebrations some two weeks early, so I am sure you’ll be OK.


  4. I laughed out loud at your “faux pas.” Never heard that one. Nor the “Rabbit, rabbit,” trending on Twitter this morning. Apparently, the first words anyone should utter are, “Rabbit rabbit,” so it can take the bad luck with them. Oopsy. I think my first words were, “Happy New Year!”
    Happy New Year to you!


  5. Well this made me chuckle. I was imagining all the French citizens that are now avoiding eye contact with you on the run up to new Year haha! My Mum has a tradition that when the clock strikes midnight, you must run to the back door to let out the old year, then run to the front door to let in the new. This has to be done no matter where you are, who’s house you are in or what the situation is. It has caused much merryment (and strange looks) over the years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol let’s hope not…I’ll find out for sure on Monday if my playground friends are still speaking to me 😉 I haven’t heard of the door tradition either…It sounds like lots of fun! Always a good thing to have a few little quirks- it makes life all the more interesting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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