Expat Magazine

Saint Catherine's Day in Paris

By Sedulia @Sedulia

Today is Saint Catherine's day. In the days when saints' days were a bigger deal than they are now (it was a world without weekends), Saint Catherine's day was a day for young unmarried women of 25 years old and older. Even during the 1930s and 40s it was celebrated, sometimes by balls for girls who would have to leave the group if they got married. The colors of Saint Catherine's day were green and yellow, and it was a tradition to wear a hat of these colors on that day.

I was surprised to find out that the tradition still exists, although nowadays only in the fashion business. Young single women who work as petites mains in couture are given green-and-yellow hats by their colleagues on this day, and go to the mairie to be congratulated.

We once had a wonderful au pair from the Czech Republic whose name was Kateřina. Years later she confided to me that on Saint Catherine's day, she waited and waited all day for me to give her the cake she expected for her saint's day. She said it was the first Saint Catherine's day of her life when she didn't get one! I felt terrible.

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