Hugues Bernet is a teacher in a school in France where the Occitan language and culture are taught. Occitan is the Romance language that the troubadours spoke.

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 its 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. It'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 - Occitan Children's Songs - Occitania - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Thanks to Monique Palomares for reciting this for us!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Hugues Bernet for contributing this rhyme and for telling us about this interesting Christmas custom!

Illustration: From the book, "Christmas Comes but Once A Year" by Luke Limner, Illustrator: (Bros.) Dalziel.

Mercé plan!