January is here  – and here are some sayings for the month taken from the 1932 and 1933 issues of La Prosperite a la Campagne. My favourite is definitely the wolf on the compost heap one!

Si le jour des Rois est clair, il y aura deux hivers. If the day of the Kings (6 Jan) is bright, there’ll be two winters.


A la Saint-Paul – l’hiver s’en va ou se recolle. At St Paul’s (26 Jan) winter will either be on its way out, or it will be sticking.




St Vincent clair après St Paul trouble – mettent le vin dans la gourde. A clear St Vincent’s Day (22 Jan) then an unsettled St Paul’s day (26 Jan) – that will put wine in the barrel.

A la St Vincent – l’hiver monte ou descend. At St Vincent (22 Jan) winter will either be lifting or setting in.


Fleurs de Janvier – ne vont pas dans le panier. January flowers don’t go in the basket.

Dans une besace est l’hiver – s’il n’est devant, il est derriere.Winter is in a beggar’s bag – if it’s not early, then it’s late.

Quand sec est le mois de Janvier – Ne doit se plaindre le fermier. If it’s dry in January the farmer can’t complain.


Quand il ne pleut pas en janvier – il faut étayer le grenier. When it doesn’t rain in January then you must shore up (stock up) the attic.

Il vaut mieux voir un loup sur le fumier qu’un homme bras nus en janvier travailler. It’s better to see a wolf on your compost heap than to see a man working in January with bare arms.

I wonder which ones will prove true for this year. Several of these sayings mention saints. The French love their saints! Every day has at least one allocated to it, in some cases up to five (January 6). And as well as a saint, sometimes there’s a special occasion, such as assumption, ascension or Mother’s Day. January 1 has the honour of being the day of Jesus’ circumcision, I’ve just found out! It is of course also New Year’s Day (le jour de l’an), altogether a more jolly thing to celebrate. The French do that with foie gras (don’t tell Roger Moore), kissing under the mistletoe and giving each other cards and gifts. 2 January is the day of Saint Basil. And not just Saint Basil, but Saint Basil the Great. He was born in what is now Turkey in 330 AD, son of the Basil the Elder. His family was very pious. His grandfather had been martyred and all his brothers and sisters ended up in holy orders. He established a monastic order and wrote many liturgical works. He was a very influential orthodox Christian theologian. He is Greece’s Santa Claus who visits children on 1st January and gives them presents.

2010 has started cold, wet and misty. The rain has turned to snow now, so the kids are quietly optimistic about being snowed in on Monday and unable to get to school! I think that may be pushing it. So a cosy day in front of the fire for us, now that the animals have been seen to.

Happy New Year.

The wolf photo comes from http://cajunwolfpictures.tripod.com/