The Closet Moderate: Happy New Year!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy New Year!

No, I don't mean Rosh Hashanah, although that's just around the corner. Today we're celebrating the first day of the year in the French Republican Calendar, which was in force in France from 1793 to 1805.

The calendar came into force during the decidedly immoderate rule of the Jacobins during the French Revolution. Unlike our American Revolution, in which we rebelled for a bit then settled down, the French Revolution just got wackier and wackier, until half of France had executed the other half. In the interim, they drew up a new religion and a new calendar more befitting of the post-monarchical world being created. There was also a new decimal time system, but that didn't catch on too well.
Instead of a saint's day every day of the year, the French had a plant, except on certain days when an animal or farming tool was substituted. I've tried to get my blog-leagues to adopt this daily celebration of an ordinary foodstuff or antiquated tool, but they have ignored my pleas.
But don't let that stop you! The first day of the year, as one might expect of the oenophile French, was the day of the grape. So celebrate today, 1 Vendémiaire CCXVII, by eating a handful of grapes, drinking a bottle of wine, or throwing a handful of raisins at someone less fortunate. Bonne Année!


juicepockets said...

Hey there, it's Silent Cal's beautiful bride here. Just testing out my new Interwebs identity. If my screen name looks familiar, that's because I stole it from a hobo.

Silent Cal said...

Yes, it works. Now eat some grapes, damn it!