Brazil Day in Le Petit Village

Have you heard of a place called Le Petit Village?  It’s a strange, magical place, somewhere near the Luberon, but it’s really hard to find.  My friend Sara Louise used to live there so she knows how to get there.  She also knows all about Brazil Day and told us we can’t miss it!

Every village in the region has a jour de fête, when the whole village becomes a party venue for 24 hours.  Mostly there’s stuff like traditional music, maybe a talent show or concert, a big meal served in the village square and a mini-funfair with roundabouts and games for little kids.

Well, the young people of Le Petit Village decided that this kind of stuff didn’t really interest them, but instead of lounging around in the background on the jour de fête, swilling beer and smoking endless cigarettes while grumbling about how boring it all is, they decided to do something about it.  What do we like? they asked themselves.  Well, we like football on the beach, they replied (even though the nearest beach is an hour away).  And beach volleyball.  And salsa music.  And drinking (goes without saying, really). But, fair play to them, they organised a beach and football and volleyball and music and so Brazil Day in Le Petit Village was born.

Sara told us how to find the LPV, so we followed her instructions (ruby slippers, tapping heels, spinning circles while singing Le Marseillaise backwards etc) and whoosh! there we were.  The rest of the fête was happening in the square in front of the Mairie, but Brazil Day takes over the entire main street (which isn’t very big.  There is a reason this place is called Le Petit Village).


Footballers were showing off their skills on the “beach,” in front of a crowd of admirers…



people were wearing brightly coloured clothes…


or Brazilian football shirts…


or flowers in their hair


all adding to the festive air.

Sara had promised us cocktails, LPV style.

This was the first attempt :


Yeah.  It was vodka and coke.  But there’s an umbrella in it – that makes it a cocktail, right?

The LSH had Mojitos on the brain so he went foraging and liberated some mint from a garden.  Then he got a dash of lemon syrup from the bar and bought three shots of rum – one for me, one for Sara and one for her cousin, Mrs London.  I did some mixing and stirring and some tasting and adjusting.  Needs some 7up, I said, so the LSH headed back to the bar and returned with a tumbler of 7up.  Thanks to the 7up, the concoction in my glass was now drinkable, but you still couldn’t call it a Mojito (and it didn’t even have an umbrella).


Lunch!  we said, it’s time for lunch!

Sara’s husband Gregory went off to the barbecue and came back with this :


Ok, we said, it’s not as good as even the most basic Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime food we’ve had, but hey, sausages and chips are ok.  Then Gregory told us what they cost.  There’s a whole blog post in that (it’ll be along right after this one), but whatever you think we spent on two sausages and a small plate of chips, you’re probably wrong.

The LSH and I had to dash off and do some stuff for the afternoon, but we promised to return for the fireworks display that night.  We arrived at about nine, quickly found our friends and then, when the church bell chimed, we all made our way to a grassy field near the carpark, where the fire truck was already waiting, in a nod (more of a Gallic shrug actually) towards Health and Safety.

Where will they be letting off the fireworks, I asked.

Here, I was told.

Ah no, surely not.  Maybe the’ll let them off from lower down, near the car park, or from the top of the hill behind us?

No, here, Sara insisted.

Then it started.  Twenty metres in front of us, shooting straight up over our heads.  The noise was deafening, and the fireworks were so close that we had to lie on our backs to see them.  Families with small kids ducked and dived their way away from the front of the crowd to the back, where they’d be somewhat safer.  And then it started raining down little particles of spent firework, some of which were still glowing, all over the crowd.

Of course, how silly of me.  Health and safety in France is an oxymoron.

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It was a lot of fun, though.

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