La Bougie du Sapeur

It’s a leap year!

Just in case you didn’t already know, 2024 is a leap year, known as “une année bissextile” in French. Various traditions take place around the year to mark February 29th, which, of course, only comes around once every four years. In the UK and US, for example, a popular tradition is to propose to your loved one on the rare date – but with a twist, as February 29th proposals traditionally see the woman propose to the man instead of the other way round (although, naturally, this part only applies to heterosexual couples!).

In France, however, traditions are far less romantic. The most popular leap year tradition is the publication of a special satirical newspaper, “La Bougie du Sapeur”, which is only published every four years. You’ll find the newspaper on sale across the country this Thursday, February 29th (you can also take out a 100-year subscription for €100!), and all profits are donated to charity, so there’s no excuse to not get involved. Maybe you bought one last time – back in 2020 – if so, make sure to dig it out, as you’ll finally get the answers to the cryptic crossword. Better late than never!