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"Grandma's had a drop too much"... and other Jèrriais phrases you'll need this Christmas

Monday 24 December 2018

"Grandma's had a drop too much"... and other Jèrriais phrases you'll need this Christmas

Whether grabbing more turkey, sneaking a mistletoe kiss or subtly mentioning that grandma may be a bit too 'merry', Express has you covered with the key festive phrases for a very Jèrri' Christmas. Take our quiz to see if you can guess what they mean in English.

But first, a small history lesson: Christmas has been an important part of island life for centuries.

Years ago, La Longue Veil’ye was a tradition that took place on 23 December every year, where country folk would enjoy an evening of fun and celebration, whilst finishing up preparing the goods they were going to sell at the Christmas Eve market in St. Helier. For many Jersey folk, this was the only time they visited Town in the entire year.

Some Jersey families still celebrate Lé Vièr Noué (Old Christmas Day) on 6th January, a result of the switch over from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century.

jerriais Christmas

Pictured: Christmas in Jersey has changed a lot over the years, with La Longue Veil'ye one of the traditions that has died out.

If you enjoy La Fête dé Noué or have noticed the phrase ‘Bouan Noué’ on Jersey stamps, you have, maybe unknowingly, been embracing some Jersey Christmas traditions that have stuck around.

As of 2011, there are just under 2,000 native Jèrriais speakers in Jersey, despite it being the historic language of the island. As English has been formally recognised as the official language of most areas of Jersey life, the amount of Jèrriais speakers is on the decline.

To fly the flag for Jersey Christmas traditions and impress others, flip the cards below to brush up your Jèrriais...



With thanks to L'Office du Jèrriais for the festive translations and Jersey Christmas history. Bouan Noué!



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