September in France Means la Rentrée!
September – c’est la rentrée! School’s back! If you have spent any time at all in France in late August/early September you can’t have missed seeing and hearing these words all over; from shop displays and newspaper headlines to adverts and radio jingles. But this expression means so much more than just the beginning of the school year. It refers to a period of time at the beginning of September (even stretching through late into the month), reflecting a whole change of pace, a return to normalcy after the long summer holidays. …Continue reading here for this contributor blog post by Phoebe the owner of the self-catered gîte Lou Messuogo.
What is La Rentrée?
In North America, “Back to School” shopping promotions begin filling media space in early August. The focus is on new outfits, school supplies and other “must-have” items for the new scholastic year.
In France, la rentrée is definitely about the return to school but it is broader, as Phoebe points out. The beginning of September marks the end of the long summer holidays which start in the middle of July for most French families. As such la rentrée signifies the return to work, school, and other activities that might have been ignored during the summer. The timing of la rentrée marks the march toward the cooler months of the year. Early September is also a chance to reflect on the progress made towards personal and business goals.
Along with the start of school September, marks the beginning of annual fitness programs in many villages. These fit-gym classes are often organized by a local association and run from September through June. Whether you like zumba, tennis, yoga or climbing it’s a great way to stay (or get) in shape and meet your neighbours.
This is also a terrific time of the year to join an art group, take a cooking class or improve your French language skills. Here, is Marina’s recipe for learning French in Provence.
Enjoy la rentrée!