Hugues Bernet is a teacher in a school in France where the Occitan language and culture are taught. (Occitan is a language spoken in parts of southern France, Spain and Italy. It was the language of the troubadours.)
Hugues wrote to me about a custom they follow in his school at Christmastime. It involves a recitation in Occitan. Here’s what he wrote:
Here is a small Occitan custom that’s practiced at Christmastime. I don’t know it’s date or precise origin (the term “cachafuoc” for “Yule log” comes from the Cévennes mountains in south central France). Nonetheless, in the school where I work, we organize a little party for Christmas where we recapture this custom.
During this party the gifts are given out to all the people there. That’s the “soca” (a log) that brings the gifts. Two people (the youngest and the oldest of the group) carry the log into the room and say a ritual phrase in Occitan:
Bota fuòc, cachafuòc,
que nos alegre,
que nos fague la jòia d’èstre aquíi l’an que ven,
e se sèm pas mai,
que siaguem pas mens!
Light up, Yule log,
Give us the joy to be here next year,
And if we aren’t more numerous,
Let us not be less!
Many thanks to Hugues for sharing this nice saying and custom with us!
This artilce was posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2006 at 3:48 pm and is filed under Christmas, Christmas Rhymes, Countries & Cultures, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Nursery Rhymes about Holidays, Occitan, Occitan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.