Ch.12: Quelle est la date aujourd'hui?: What's today's date?


Early Start French 1: CONTENTS | HOME

French Starter Pack
1 Greetings
2 Goodbye
3 Ça va?
4 What's your name?
Famous people
4a Alphabet
5 Colours
6 Numbers 1-12
7 Ages
8 Months
9 Numbers 13 - 31
10 Birthdays
11 Days of the week
12 Today's date
13 Pets
14 Brothers & sisters
15 Consolidation / assessment
16 En classe

What you will learn in film 12

14 July - Bastille Day

You will learn how to say the full date in French, having learned the days of the week in section 11, the months in section 8, and the numbers 1-12 (section 6) and 13-31 (section 9).

You will also look at the dates in the French calendar which are big celebrations and public holidays. We look particularly at festivities in the Christmas season - there are some good web links below.

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Celebrate a French holiday! - send an mail card has lively simply animated cards for Easter, Hallowe'en, Christmas, New Year, etc. - also birthday cards.

You choose a card, add your own message (up to 40 characters in French), then give your friend's email and your own - click 'envoie' to sendi it off via email.

Go to: to try it out for yourself.

(recommended to ell-forum by Dan Tierney, Reader in Language Education, University of Strathclyde)

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Saint Nicholas

The legend is of a rich young man in third century Turkey who gave away all his inheritance to the poor and needy, became a bishop, and was imprisoned and tortured by the Romans.

Nicholas was brought up as a Christian. He took pity on a poor neighbour whose daughters could not get married without a dowry. Nicholas crept into the house one night, and left a gift of gold coins in the daughter's stocking which had been washed and was hanging up to dry by the fire. When the secret got out, other people hung up their stockings in the hope of similar generosity.

Nicholas eventually gave away all his money to the poor and needy, and became a priest. As a bishop he was imprisoned and tortuned by the Roman emperor at a time when Christianity was illegal.

For more information:

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Websites on Christmas & other celebrations

Schools in UK and France worked together on this project to record their traditions and celebrations at different times of the year, and on special days. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

See also:

Festivals in France, Spain and Germany

Christmas in France and Canada

Here is a really rich link for Christmas info - in a choice of English or French.

The official description is:
"Christmas Traditions in France and in Canada.
Canada and France offer you a summary of the social and communal customs, family celebrations, and religious ceremonies that have become part of their diverse Christmas traditions."
The website is one result of an international cultural project linking France and Canada - it has particularly interesting sections on how French customs migrated to New France, and comparing Francophone and Anglophone traditions.

French celebrations

The French website 'ChezLorry' has a great section on special festivals, "Les Événements de l'Année", with colouring, games, etc. You can ONLY see each part at the time of year coming up to the event.

There are sections on:

  • Halloween
  • Noel
  • St. Valentin
  • Pâques
  • Fête des Mères (Mothers Day)
  • Fête des Pères (Fathers Day)

"Les Événements de l'Année" on

Search on 'Yahoo! France' for 'Jours de fete' gives a list of pages about Christmas, Easter and Hallowe"en - all in French:

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Bastille day - 14th July

The story that has been handed down over the years is that the workers of the Faubourg St. Antoine broke into the keep, killed the Governor and the chief representative of municipal authority and then continued to dismantle the Bastille stone by stone to release the prisoners.

Modern historians have suggested that the workers' main aim was to secure arms and that the French Revolution had been gradually gathering momentum over the previous two years.

However, the events of the 14 July had very important consequences: foreign regiments that the King could have used for a counter revolution were withdrawn from the neighbourhood of Paris; political authority was transferred to the people and the red and blue colours of the city of Paris were merged with the white of the Bourbons to form the tricolour flag of the new France.

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