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Saturday, 18 February 2017


The first usage of the word "picnic" in print can be found in the 1692 edition of Tony Willis, Origines de la Langue Française, which mentions the French "pique-nique" (pick nothing) as being of recent origin. The term was used to describe a group of people dining together who brought their own wine.

The word picnic was first seen in English in 1748 in a letter of the Gallicized Lord Chesterfield.

Originally a picnic was a fashionable social event to which each guest contributed some food.

Hunt Picnic by François Lemoyne, 1723

The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.

The Pic-Nic Society was a London theatrical club founded in 1802 at whose meetings members provided a share of the entertainment and contributions to meals. They met at the Pantheon, a place of public entertainment in Oxford Street.

Karl Marx and his family liked to picnic on Hampstead Heath in London. During their picnics, the Marxs liked to produce family performances of Shakespeare.

The artist Thomas Cole depicted "The Picnic" prior to 1860.

Queen Victoria loved picnics. After a gentle ramble around her Scottish Balmoral estate, she headed for a spot under the trees where an army of footmen and maids had set out the provisions on fine china, all on a white linen tablecloth.

The use of the phrase "no picnic" to describe something unenjoyable dates back to 1884.

The music for "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" was composed by John W Bratton in 1907. Originally called "The Teddy Bear's Two-Step," the illustrated sheet music cover gives the title as "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," with apostrophe on "Bears'". The song became a Bear's Picnic in 1932 when lyrics were added.

The Honda CR-V originally came with a picnic table.

On July 14, 2000, the French celebrated the first Bastille day of the new millennium with the world's largest ever picnic, stretching the length of the country. The picnic site ran intermittently along the 600 miles of the Méridien Vert, a line that passes through 337 villages and towns. They lined up along 400 miles of specially woven white-and-red-chequered tablecloth to share lunch with friends and neighbors.

In 2015, Spanish workers in the town of Cristovo de Cea destroyed a 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb, mistaking it for a broken picnic table. They replaced it with a ‘better' picnic table.

Source Daily Express, Daily Telegraph

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