Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Unique Thanksgiving

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Husband & I were supposed to spend a long weekend in Dublin, Ireland but an unexpected work issue is keeping us here. However, instead of participating in an ex-pat Thanksgiving dinner I'll be attending my work's "Catherinette party." What is a Catherinette, you ask? According to Wikipedia: Catherinette is a traditional French label for girls of twenty-five years old who are still unmarried by the Feast of Saint Catherine (November 25th). A special celebration was offered to them on this day, while everyone wished them a fast end to their singlehood.

Although the tradition no longer exists in modern-day France, French couture houses still honor this fête by creating hats for all Catherinettes, presenting them with a gift and allowing them to leave work early to attend a parade at City Hall. The hats must be green which symbolizes youth and the hope to find a husband, and yellow which symoblizes faith and passing time. They are often decorated with symbols of the fashion house, for example overlapping C's for Chanel. The house I work in throws a large soirée to honor all the Catherinettes and they even give us work off the next day! Although a Thanksgiving meal would have been lovely I couldn't pass up an open bar and the chance to experience this exceptional French custom.


Andromeda said...

That's awesome that they give a day off! Maybe that's where the whole -25 thing started for reductions, it was the age you were supposed to be married by! Tha hat thing is probably my favorite French tradition, though not really celebrated in my area unfortunately.

Stacy said...

lol that's awesome! Never heard of Catherinette, I wish I knew about that when I was still in France... though I guess I wasn't technically single at the time. I could sure use a hat now though :)
This year I'll be having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe with some Italian friends. Supposedly there'll be turkey. If not I guess a burger and fries is the next best thing! Happy Thanksgiving!