elieve it or not

Believe it or not, here is a selection of interesting and unusual facts about France.

Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be sold before one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November. The uncorking of the first bottles is traditionally marked with torchlit parades and fireworks.

Time has not been legal in France for some 35 years, even though the Paris-based International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) is keeping time legal for everyone else. Ironically, France uses as many as twelve different time zones.

One punishment for an adulterous wife in medieval France was to make her chase a chicken through town naked. 

Though traditionally there are around 300 to 400 varieties of French cheese, there are in fact over 1,000 different types available in the French market.

The concept of denim clothing was born in the Languedoc-Roussillon city of Nimes – de Nîmes; get it?

France’s official name is the French Republic (République Française). It became a republic in 1792, after centuries of royal rule, as a result of the French Revolution. The Revolution started with the storming of the Bastille fortress on 14th July 1789, an event that is celebrated every year all over France on Bastille Day.

The legal system in France is still largely influenced by Napoleon. French law is still based on the principles set down in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Code Civil in the 1800s. 

Paris was originally a Roman city called Lutetia.

In France you can marry a dead person. During World War I, a few women were married by use of proxy to soldiers that had died weeks earlier. This practice came to be called posthumous marriage. Posthumous marriage for civilians originated in the 1950s, when a dam broke and killed 400 people in Fréjus, France, including a man named André Capra, who was engaged to Iréne Jodart. Jodart pleaded with French President Charles De Gaulle to let her go along with her marriage plans even though her fiancé had died. She had support from the media and within months was allowed to marry her fiancé.

At the Petite Syrah in Nice, France, it pays to display proper gentility –not saying 'Hello', and 'Please' makes your coffee more expensive.

Did you know that the largest Buddha in Europe is to be found just outside Paris? 

Trees in Paris are counted and recorded by the council – there are 478,000!

It is illegal to kiss on or at the train stations in France

This law prohibiting kissing at the train station was put in place by the Société du Chemin de fer to avoid delays?  It was thought that people kissing at train stations would be so distracted that they might totally miss the huge, loud trains…some kiss that would be!

Between the hours of 8am and 8pm, 70% of music played on French radio stations MUST be by French artists.

Ever wondered why you hear the same music over and over through the day. They do it because it is the law. This law was made to preserve French musical culture and the French language. The French language police claim that the younger generation tends to listen to too much American and British culture.

In 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig created a fake ad stating that the Eiffel Tower was up for sale. This ad was sent around to Parisian scrap metal merchants, who he invited to a meeting in a prestigious Paris hotel. One of the merchants signed a huge cheque for the 7,000 tons of metal. He even paid a bribe for the exclusive rights… before learning that the Eiffel Tower had in fact never been put up for sale by its rightful owner, the Paris city council.

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