La Bougie du Sapeur: France's unique four-year satirical newspaper hits the stands

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La Bougie du Sapeur gives a satirical take on topics ranging from politics to sport and international affairs.—BBC
La Bougie du Sapeur gives a satirical take on topics ranging from politics to sport and international affairs.—BBC

France's distinctive satirical newspaper, La Bougie du Sapeur, known as the world's only quadrennial publication, has made its return to newsstands with its 12th edition, BBC reported. 

Released exclusively on February 29, this unique 20-page tabloid has maintained its four-year publication schedule since its debut in 1980.

Conceived by a group of friends seeking amusement, La Bougie du Sapeur, priced at €4.90 (£4.20), stands out for its singular release pattern and has a print run of 200,000 copies. 

Despite its infrequent publication, the newspaper successfully covers its costs, with a dedicated following eagerly awaiting each leap-year edition.

Editor Jean d'Indy, who leads the French equivalent of the Jockey Club in his primary role, emphasises the camaraderie and fun among the small group of friends responsible for the paper. 

The publication, organised like a conventional newspaper, features sections on politics, sports, international affairs, arts, puzzles, and celebrity gossip, presenting humorous commentaries on various topics.

The latest edition's headlines, such as "we will all be intelligent," provide a satirical take on current events. Maintaining an anti-politically correct stance, La Bougie delves into topics with French humour, aiming to be amusing without crossing into cruelty. 

The paper, named after one of France's earliest cartoon characters, Le Sapeur Camembert, remains exclusive to physical copies and can be purchased only at newsagents and newspaper kiosks.

Editor Jean d'Indy expresses the hope that La Bougie du Sapeur serves as a breath of fresh air every four years, offering readers a lighthearted escape.