I shall be spending this evening in various supermarkets looking for the most sumptuous sardines that I can find. For as you will undoubtedly know, tomorrow is Sardine Day.
This is not because tomorrow is the feast day of the Holy prophets Joel and Esdras. Though I am sure that Joel’s vision of the End Day would have included the most wonderfully succulent sardines imaginable. Nor because it is that St Turian, a man of humility and simplicity, would have enjoyed an occasional sardine of his feast day.
No, tomorrow is the Feast of the Sardines, or Fête des Sardines, in the Vendée region of France. You can see a history of the Wars of the Vendée here, it really is worth a read. The Vendée was totally destroyed by the Revolution and persecuted ever since.
So do you think that the good people of the Vendée want to celebrate July 14th? Bastille day? No they do not.
So instead they celebrate the humble sardine (for no reason that I have been able to find). They eat them on the thirteenth, and they feast, and drink, and drink. And on the next morning (the fourteenth) they are so hung over that they do not bother getting out of bed!!!
So for them, the celebration is not the slaughter, rape and pillage of their beloved country, it is the day before – a humble sardine.
|A Lady of the Vendee on the eve of the Feast:|
"I'm off for a quick sherry!"