French culture and society

Your guide to French traditions, arts and events

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La France : un état laïque

The separation of church and state has an impact on school and public administration. France is a secular state, but what are the implications of “laïcité” in everyday life?

French national anthem: La Marseillaise

The french national anthem “La Marseillaise” got its name during the French revolution because it was sung by troops from Marseille upon arriving in Paris. Here are the words in French and English.

EU Citizen Voting Rights in France

If you are a EU citizen residing in France (primary residents only), you have the right to vote in both European elections and local communal elections. You will need to register before December 31.

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Christmas Markets in France

Traditionally, housewives in France would spend the weeks leading up to Christmas preparing a festive feast and Christmas markets developed to supply them with the ingredients and products they needed.

Medieval masterpieces: cathedrals of Picardy

Out of this world The astronomical clock (horloge astronomique) at Cathédrale Saint Pierre in Beauvais attracts a paying audience five times per day, once an hour between 10.40am and 4.40pm. The clock’s 53 dials display the time, tides and positions of the stars in