Cremaillère Upon Cremaillère Upon Cremaillère

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?



11 thoughts on “Cremaillère Upon Cremaillère Upon Cremaillère

  1. I love this! Thanks for the follow, too 🙂 I’m enjoying your blog. I’m an American English teaching assistant…just curious, did you ever do this program?

      1. I teach English at the university level! But it’s my own classes and my own students, pay is better so it’s different from the assistantship!

      2. That is too cool! I’m sure that you enjoy it a lot 🙂 I personally don’t think the middle school level is for me haha. However, I got into this program with no teaching experience or teaching certificates.

      3. Yes, exactly. I think it’s always hard starting out and it should get better! I have to give myself a break because I have not even studied education in my life ha

  2. Your post makes me sad, because I realize that we have never had a crémaillère since we moved in to our new house TWO YEARS ago! We always had housewarming do’s before, so what happened? Older, wiser, richer, maybe….but also lazier, less inclined to make new friends and with the old ones far and wide. You’ve inspired me to rethink this and host a party – however belated. Cheers, Dana!

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