The imperative of beauty-time on vacation, a construction

Christopher Granger, ” (Im)atmospheric pressure. History of the beautiful weather in holiday “, Ethnologie française, 2004/1, n°97

This is the story, between 1890 and 1980, the factory of a culture weather vacation. The taste for the beautiful fixed and intolerance of certain meteors, which are engaging in a shake-up of the mapping holiday, are deeply the weather in the heart of the holiday. The summer vacation evokes a time specific. The beautiful weather is an ingredient crucial to the picturesque and the scenery leisure. It brings together the holiday-makers around a wagering essential : the quality of the holiday. A successful holiday, holiday in the sun, and rain suffers from a high disqualification sociale. On vacation, the thresholds of tolerance to rain are particularly low. Rainfall, same brief, have a regrettable on the morale of the vacationer.

The weighing of the “weather” on the assessment of summer vacation is ancient. It is based, first, on the conceptions of medical climate, and growing at the Belle Epoque, in a careful hygiene of the premises. and that is strengthened between the two wars. Reading therapeutic does then depend on the choice of venue and the range of practices in summer from the composition of the atmosphere, the degree of sunlight or of the direction of winds and, always, of their resonance on the individual temperament.

This speech officer presiding at the time of the sending of the children of the lower classes and the slums in the colonies of holiday. Climates invigorating mountain are recommended for children listless, lymphatic and anaemic ; the climates stimulants of the North sea and the English Channel are contributing to “viriliser” children indolent or inert. This same design climate of the vacation determines the choice of holiday destinations-class families.

On this point, the failover key is operated in the first decades of the century : despite the relative retention of the bad weather in the moral effort among day trippers from the turn of the century. This valuation new heat goes hand in hand, at the beginning of the century, with a transformation of the ways to enjoy the sun. The ancient techniques of protection or avoidance are progressively abandoned. Disappear from the culture summer hats, netting, gloves, and the in-every-case, but also, in large part, used to modulate the activities across the day depending on the intensity of the sun. Clears a certain prestige and freshness, which gives the transformation of the culture of somatic to the Belle Époque.

At the heart of this assessment, new climate, is day of a recomposition of geography holiday, and with it is the construction of a provision, presented as natural, to appreciate positively the heat of the summer. And, especially in the thirties, this provision is also at the heart of the values and norms of modern society. It agrees with the extension of social taste of the colour between the two wars. This taste of the heat and sun is involved, between the thirties and the sixties, the social construction of the concepts of ” time of season “, or ” real season “, which standardizes the assessments of the weather of the holiday.

In the years fifty-sixty, this value of authenticity that bears the beautiful holiday time is at the heart of public debates surrounding the issue of the spread of the holidays. The investigations reveal a deep attachment to the July-August period, commonly considered to be the most sunny, the most delightful, in short, more adapted to the moral weather of the holiday….

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