• France's news in English

Rare newspaper makes ninth appearance

Matthew Warren · 29 Feb 2012, 07:20

Published: 29 Feb 2012 07:20 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Fans of a newspaper that only appears once every four years will get the chance to read it on Wednesday.

Since it was founded in 1980, "La Bougie du Sapeur" is published only on February 29th in each leap year. 

Its name means "The Candle of the Sapper" and refers to a cartoon character created in the 1890s, Sapper Camember, who was born on February 29th.

Wednesday's issue is the ninth in the series of the newspaper which describes itself as "funny but not naughty" ("drôle mais pas méchant"). 

The latest issue contains a front page editorial dealing with one of the anomalies of French life, the measure of beer known as a "demi".

While a "demi" literally means "half", a request for a "demi" in a bar produces a quarter litre of beer.

"It's a veritable scandal," says the newspaper. "When you ask for a demi in your local, you get a quarter. It's organised theft. We are starting a crusade to return the demi to being: a demi!"

Little has changed since the newspaper was founded although current editor Jean d'Indy added photos in the 1992 issue (number 4). 

Readers may be frustrated by some of the newspaper's quirks. 

Answers to the crossword puzzle are given in the next issue, meaning a wait until February 29th 2016.

The editor said he had been asked to create a similar newspaper to appear every April 1st, but he declined.

"Things that are rare have a great value in the hearts of people," he told radio station Europe 1.

Profits from the newspaper are donated to an autism charity.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French cheer police, reviving Charlie spirit
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available