The 11th November in France: le jour du souvenir

In France, the 11th of November is a major national day and a remembrance day.

This public holiday actually commemorates the Fête de la victoire which is when the Armistice was signed on the 11th of November 1918. And though it was originally a day to honour those who had served during the First World War, it has become a day to remember and honour all who served to defend France during wars.

The commemoration is observed by all municipalities, with a blue, white and red wreath being placed on each war memorial.

11novemberwreathThe Bleuet de France (cornflower) is the flower that was chosen by the French to commemorate that day as this is the flower which was on the battlefields and as it is the same colour as the soldiers’ (les poilus) uniform.

At 11 o’clock, of the 11th day of the 11th month, the country also stopped for two minutes silence. The first minute is dedicated to all the soldiers who died and the second minute, to the living left behind.

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