Learn French In France, on the French Riviera
The neighborhood party

Neighbours’ Day: a popular celebration

Every year, a rather special festival is celebrated in France: Neighbours’ Day (la Fête des voisins).

Every year, a rather special festival is celebrated in France: Neighbours’ Day (la Fête des voisins). On Neighbours’ Day, people who live in the same apartment building or neighbourhood come together to get acquainted and have a chat. The festival was established in 1999, and is now celebrated by millions of neighbours. In France, more than 8 million people are expected to mark the day. But did you know that the festival is popular not only in Europe but on other continents too? European Neighbours’ Day encompasses lots of countries including Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and Italy. When we add in all the other countries and regions as well (India, Mexico, Tunisia, Togo, Taiwan, Quebec and more), the number of people getting involved around the world reaches 30 million! In today’s society, individualism is common. Many people are content to offer just a simple “hello” without making any attempt to truly communicate with their neighbours. At a time when a lot of people are living alone, meeting other residents of your building can be an opportunity to make new friends in order to promote a “better life together”. Getting together for a drink in the building’s courtyard or garden can help to create a friendly atmosphere. To take part, think about letting those in your neighbourhood know the date and location of your get-together a few days in advance. Small posters and leaflets can be obtained from your local town hall or the Neighbours’ Day website. To ensure that your drinks reception or cold buffet turns out perfectly on the day itself, you can share out the various tasks among your friends. Someone can be responsible for communication (delivering leaflets, etc.), while someone else buys the cutlery, plastic cups and paper napkins. Finally, put someone in charge of organising food and drinks (fruit juices, crisps, quiches, snacks, etc.). Once all the guests have left, don’t forget to set an example by sorting the waste. Now you’re all set – see you on 19 May!

Gloria - 18/05/2017

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