épaule
la punition

festin

FestinBecause to children, life itself is a festin... My son, Max, jumping off the water tank near our home.

le festin (feh-stehn --silent "n") noun, masculine
1. feast, banquet

French synonyms for festin: agape, bombance, ripaille, beuverie, gueuleton

..........
Listen:
Hear the word festin pronounced: Download festin.wav

...........................
Citation du Jour:
Petite chère et grand accueil font joyeux festin.Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast. --William Shakespeare

.....................................
A Day in a French Life...

At a Chinese restaurant in the southern French town of Draguignan Jean-Marc, Max, Jackie and I gladly swap dragonflies for dragons. (While our dishes at home have a meek libellule* motif, at the sweet and spicy Festin de Chine, or "China Banquet," the assiettes* have fire-breathing monsters!)

You might say this Chinese restaurant in the neighboring French town sports an Italian name--for part of its appellation (the Festin part) comes from the Italian word "festino." Inside the bilingual menu, no Italian words are found, but there are French words and a few misspelled English words.

We are feasting at le Festin on riz cantonnais,* crevettes* with ginger and canard fumé* but what we are really here for is the Vietnamese rolls. "Les nems" as they are called--those addictive, deep-fried rolls stuffed with rice, julienned vegetables and strips of pork or shrimp, are the size of fat cigars and are served with a basket of mint and lettuce leaves in which to wrap them. A dainty porcelain bowl of soy-based sauce (and more shredded carrot) is served alongside the rolls.

At the end of the repas,* our now bored and restless kids float like a couple of inebriated dragonflies over to the fish tank to watch the clown fish bump noses. When that gets old, the kid-diners leave the tank and begin to wrestle each other near the waiter's station.

"It's okay, they are not bothering anybody," Jean-Marc assures me. I look around... true, the restaurant was almost empty, and the kids weren't making more than a gurgling noise in keeping with their wrestling match woes. That's when I heard a bump. I looked up to find the tank intact, the kids now giggling.

"C'est rien,"* Jean-Marc assured. Despite my husband's encouragement--to relax and just let the kids be--my nerves began to fray and my sang* began to simmer. I looked down at my plate, past the julienned vegetables, to the agitated dragon and its fiery tongue; I could relate to its mood. I covered the monster with a soiled napkin and returned my gaze to the kids. A mother always has a choice: to spit fire or seize the festin that is Life. I left the table to gently wrestle my kids away from the waiter's station before the three of us returned to the tank to stand in awe before the nose-bumping clown fish.

..............................................................................................
*References: la libellule (f) = dragonfly; une assiette (f) = plate; le riz cantonnais (m) = fried rice; la crevette (f) = shrimp; le canard fumé (m) = smoked duck; le repas (m) = meal; c'est rien (ce n'est rien) = It's nothing; le sang (m) = blood

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens