Newsletter, December 2012
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
The year is drawing to a close and Christmas is just around the corner. As we start filling with anticipation of a peaceful festive season, we would like to update you on the current state of preparations for the upcoming 42nd World Money Fair – from February 1 to 3, 2013. From now on, the following documents will be available at our website www.worldmoneyfair.de:
• updated program overview of Technical Forum on January 31, 2013, from 1:30 pm
• updated program overview of Media Forum on February 1, 2013, from 10:30 am
• exhibitor list (as of December 14, 2012)
• floor plan (as of December 14, 2012)
Should you need any advice or assistance for planning your fair participation, we are here for you. Our office will be open through Thursday, December 20, 2012. From 12/21/2012 through 1/6/2013 we will allow us a breather. On January 7, 2013 we will launch into the final spurt.
Whatever your plans for the upcoming holidays may be, we wish you a happy and festive time, just like our friends and Guests of Honour from France know how to celebrate. On that note:
Joyeux Noël et bonne année
Merry Christmas and a good start into the new year.
der WORLD MONEY FAIR Berlin
Christmas in France
France is known for its cuisine and fine culinary pleasures. This is more than true for the way the French celebrate Christmas.
Did you know that the tradition of the Christmas tree originally comes from Alsace? In 1708, Elisabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine, wife of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans and sister-in-law of Louis XIV, was the first to report of so-called trees of paradise – freshly felled sapins de Noël , adorned with red apples, pastries and nuts – as a reminiscence of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.
Even today, Christmas Eve is a bit like paradise. After a normal workday, the family gathers at home or in colorfully decorated restaurants to start off the holidays with an abundant dîner followed by lively dancing. In the night comes père Noël, a colleague of Santa Claus, who enters the houses through the chimney to put presents into the children's shoes.
On December 25, everything revolves around réveillon, a big family feast with typical dishes like dinde aux marrons, a chestnut-stuffed turkey, several patés or terrines, oysters and marrons glacés. Foie gras is also traditionally served on Christmas and the bûche de Noël, a chocolate sponge cake roll made to resemble a log, is of course a must.
After the long dinner, many French attend the Midnight Mass, messe de minuit, where they will surely see one of the marvelous crèches depicting the nativity scene. The largest, by the way, is installed in a tent in Paris and has thousands of visitors each year.
Apart from that, there are many other Christmas traditions differing from region to region. In Provence, for instance, they have magnificent nativity plays and scenes composed of santons – elaborate terracotta figurines, sold at the marchés aux Santons, representing numerous typical crafts of the region.
The semaine joyeuse, the merry week lasting from December 24 through 31, ends with the celebration of New Year's Eve celebration, which is not quite so traditional. On this occasion, the French again indulge in noble delicacies like lobster or oysters. At midnight, people exchange good wishes for a happy new year under the branch of a mistletoe.
Now, those who are assuming that New Year's Day is the conclusion of the festive season will be disabused on January 6, the day of Epiphany or festival of the Three Kings. When the Kings' cake, the galette des Rois – a delicious marzipan-filled puff pastry or brioche-like yeast cake – is about to be cut, the youngest member of the family decides in which order the portions are served. The one who finds the fève, a bean or ceramic trinket hidden in the cake, when eating his/her piece, is crowned with a cardboard crown and may choose a new queen or king from those present who then has to provide another cake. Only when all members of the family have contributed, the long and wonderful French Christmas season is over.
Inspired by these beautiful customs, we wish everybody, including our friends from France, a merry and eventful festive season. We hope to meet you all in good spirits and good health at the 42nd World Money Fair.
See you soon in Berlin!