In France, when you move into a new place, it is an *almost* mandatory tradition to have a cremaillère, or housewarming party, with friends and family, in order to celebrate and “break in” your new home within the first few weeks of getting settled.
Since moving to the north, between finding a place to live, beginning my new job as a lectrice at the university, juggling new tutoring clients, and battling the Bureaucracy regarding replacing my stolen passport and work visa, my weekends have been filled with various cremaillères in Lille and Valenciennes.
Typically, cremaillères are at least semi-classy with nicer dress, and everyone brings a dish and drink to pass. Usually the night starts out with snacks and hors d’oeuvres, but then ends with everyone dancing to classic tunes around 4:00 AM. **As a disclosure, some cremaillères are sloppier than others.
Dancing (Photo Taken by Matt)
Americans at the latest “Dress Your Nationality” themed cremaillère (Photo taken by Matt)
Overall, the cremaillères have been an absolutely fantastic way to meet the other lecteurs (there are 9 of us here in Valenciennes!), permanent expats in the north, French friends, and the new assistants!
Have you ever attended or hosted a cremaillère?