Why do I need to know Noces de crêpe?
Well, you might know someone who’s about to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary.
What does it mean?
Noces de crêpe – the crêpe wedding – is the wedding anniversary that is celebrated after 39 years of marriage in France.
It’s actually got nothing to do with pancakes, it refers to the fabric crêpe.
The word crêpe is derived from the Latin crispus, which means wavy. Over the centuries, that became cresp and then crêpe – the material – and, traditionally, those celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary would exchange gifts made of the fabric that has a distinctive wrinkled and bumpy appearance.
Apparently it indicates the wrinkles and bumps that a couple have survived over the course of their married lives.
In these less traditional days, a gastronomic gift is seen as equally fitting (even pancakes).
All French wedding anniversaries have their own traditional gifts, in the same way as they do in the Anglophone world. They don’t all have the same gifts though.
Intriguingly, a paper wedding anniversary in the US and UK is the first. In France, it’s the 37th. The first anniversary in France is cotton… which is the second in the US and UK.
Use it like this
Joyeux noces des crêpe – Happy 39th wedding anniversary
1 year – noces de coton (cotton)
2 years – noces de cuir (copper)
3 years : noces de froment (wheat)
4 years : noces de cire (wax)
5 years : noces de bois (wood)
6 years : noces de Chypre (Cyprus)
7 years : noces de laine (wool)
8 years : noces de coquelicot (poppy)
9 years : noces de faïence (earthenware)
10 years : noces d’étain (pewter)
15 years : noces de cristal (crystal)
20 years : noces de porcelaine (porcelain)
25 years : noces d’argent (silver)
30 years : noces de perle (pearl)
35 years : noces de rubis (ruby)
40 years : noces d’emeraude (emerald)
50 years : noces d’or (gold)
60 years : noces de diamant (diamond)
70 years : noces de platine (platinum)
Find the full list here.