Cinq à sept
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Cinq à sept (French: [sɛ̃kasɛt], literally 'five to seven') is a French-language term for activities taking place after work and before returning home (sometimes using overtime as an excuse), or for having dinner (roughly between 5 and 7 p.m.).
It may also be written as 5 à 7 or 5@7.
In Quebec French, the term stands for a social gathering. It may bring together friends or colleagues or may be organized around a specific event, such as a book launch or vernissage. Wine, beer, and cocktails are served along with finger foods and other hors d'oeuvres. Such a party held later may be named for the specific time (e.g. six à huit, meaning "six to eight").
A cinq à sept can be a formal gathering held in a wide range of public and private spaces, such as art galleries, university campuses, and places of work, but it is also commonly used more informally as a promotion in bars to attract patrons. The English equivalent might be a semi-formal "wine and cheese" gathering or an informal "happy hour".
Cinq à sept originally referred to a time for a tryst, and consequently is a metonym for a visit to one's mistress, an extramarital affair, and the mistress involved. It derived from the time of day French people would make such a visit. It is still commonly considered as the time of day to meet one's mistress or lover, and the term implies a sexual liaison (as opposed to the Quebecois habit).