Monday, September 29, 2008

Fête de la Noisette -- the "mosh pit" dance

Over the years, we've attended four or five hazelnut festival lunches so, by now, we know the routine. There's the waving-your-paper-napkin-in-the-air song, the waving-your-hands-in-the-air song, the various initiation ceremonies and, yes, fully fledged members of the confrérie do dress up as hazelnuts. Perhaps most spectacular of all, there's the "mosh pit" dance--I don't know what else to call it. 

At some point in the afternoon, a number of people sit on the floor, legs spread, in a long row. Then those who want to, or those whom sufficient wine has convinced it would be a good idea, line up and, one by one, hurl themselves face forward over the line. 

Standing either side, others take hold of the hurlee's arms and legs and gently ferry him (or her) above the line of floorbound participants who hold up their arms to speed the hurlee's passage. 

This year, Peter did it for the first time. 

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