There are some very weird laws in France

Written by on October 22, 2018 in Blog

Sometimes I get France. And sometimes I don’t. Take the law for instance.

In my local café in which the locals gather to gossip, a recent topic of debate was about the misfortunes of a baker who owns a boulangerie near Troyes in the Champagne region. He decided to open his boulangerie 7 days a week in the summer of 2017 in order to serve the needs of the many tourists who flocked to the area. All well and good you might think, but non. Someone, who is not owning up to it, reported him for contravening a local decree that prevents anyone working 7 days a week, even if it is their own business and they choose to do so. The labour union that was tasked with enforcing the law was apparently reluctant to do so, especially as the baker was supported by the local Mayor and residents. They asked other local business owners if they agreed that the baker should be fined. Astoundingly, the result was yes, and the baker was fined €3000. So far, he has refused to cough up.

Illegal to call a pig Napoleon in France

You might think that strange enough but there’s more. I have a plastic pig in my garden – don’t ask, I don’t know why I bought it but plastic animals are popular in my part of France, so it doesn’t look as out of place as you might think! I did think about getting real pigs but it’s a lot of work mucking them out and with 70 animals already, I’m not inclined to do more mucking stuff. I told Annie the local café owner about my plastic cochon and said I was going to call it Napoleon. “Ah non” she said, “You can’t do that, it’s against the law”. And, it’s true. It’s illegal to call a pig Napoleon in France, maybe even a plastic one.

Against the law to kiss at a train station in France

There are plenty of peculiar laws in France I’ve since discovered. Did you know for instance it’s illegal to kiss at a train station in France? No one seems to be aware as far as I can tell as I travel a lot on the trains and see plenty of smooching.

There is a centuries old law that requires all French citizens keep a haystack handy, in case the King passes by and needs hay for his horse. Curiously enough, I actually comply with the law here, my chickens have plenty of hay and should the King of France ever come trotting by and require some, he’s welcome to it.

Perhaps the most odd law of all is that it is legal in France to marry a dead person, though you do need the permission of the President and you must have a good reason to do so.

I still have much to learn about France it seems, and some of it is very quaint!

Related Articles

Peyton Place Chicken Pen

Peyton Place Chicken Pen

Written by on July 6, 2020 in Blog, My French Life

As a poultry keeper, I’m always amazed by the antics of my birds. I have ducks, chickens and geese – they’re pets, not for the pot, despite the urging of my French neighbours.  I love them all but it’s the chickens who for me are the most fascinating. Ducks fight it out to establish a […]

Continue Reading

My Four Seasons: A Year of the Good Life by Janine Marsh

One grey dismal day, I took a day trip to northern France to buy some cheap wine with my dad and my husband Mark. My mum had died two years before and my dad, broken-hearted and bereft, turned to whisky to drown his sorrows. I thought getting him to drink wine would be better for […]

Continue Reading

A Coop d’Etat | Life with chickens

A Coop d’Etat | Life with chickens

Written by on April 3, 2020 in Blog

The day came recently when I realised that this year, the year of Coronavirus, I would have time to do the garden and it’s probably going to be a very good idea to make my vegetable bed as efficient as possible. But I am a chicken mum and some of my chickens are as much […]

Continue Reading

Au Revoir Gregory Peck Bonjour Roger Moore

I love all my animals, five cats, three dogs, four geese, 13 ducks and 25 chickens. They’re part of the family though the birds don’t live in the house with us. At least not permanently. When they’re a bit poorly, I’ll bring them in for some TLC until they’re well enough to go out. Sometimes […]

Continue Reading

My Good Life in France in pursuit of the rural dream house!

When I first set eyes on the run down, neglected and frankly horrible house I now call home, I never ever imagined that so many years later, I would still be working on it! It was a chilly day in February, sleet fell making everything look rather drab and bedraggled, a bit like how I […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.