Every year, on the last Friday of May, neighbors all over France get together to clink glasses and break bread for La fête des voisins or Neighbors Day. The idea is simple: gather with your neighbors, drink some wine and get to know each other better. There are no rules and nothing is too formal. Pretty cool eh?
Neighbors Day was started by Atanase Périfan with the aim of strengthen neighborhood bonds by celebrating the spirit of conviviality and solidarity. It is organized by the association Immeubles en fête and supported by more than 1,200 partners (city councils, housing organizations and local associations).
Over the last 11 years or so, Neighbors Day has spread to more than 30 countries around the world with over 10 million participants. It was first started in Paris in 1999, spread to the rest of France in 2000, then to other European countries in 2003 and so on.
Though Neighbors Day is not a national holiday in the U.S.A … there are many small towns across the country that have been celebrating it since the early 1990’s. Does your town celebrate Neighbors Day or have some other yearly holiday bringing neighbors together? Post your comment below!
OK, it’s past 8pm here in Paris on a Friday night. I’m off to meet up with my neighbors! Happy Memorial Day weekend to my compatriots across the pond!
Photo credit: blog.petitfute.com