The Moselle Valley: A Discovery Itinerary, A photographic journey to a French Winter Wonderland. You’ll find around one hundred articles about French culture and traditions in this section of our French blog. French Christmas Season. The food and the festive atmosphere are fun for the whole family. Filter by post type. Apparently he saw the French ‘bon bon’ sweets (almonds wrapped in pretty paper) and once he returned to London he started selling them with a small motto message inside. At Christmas time, the local postman or fire fighter will knock on every door, selling calendars for the coming New Year. France is only a short trip away across the Channel, but when it comes to Christmas, our traditions often seem miles apart. Père Noël brings them during the night and kids typically open their presents on the morning of Christmas Day. Nativity Scene of Saint-François-Xavier church, Paris © French Moments. The Christmas tree – le Sapin de Noël. But with the invention of postal mail, the practice became more widespread. Protected: How the Eiffel Tower was saved from destruction, Find out more about French Christmas carols and English/German lyrics here, What are the Saint-Nicolas celebrations in Nancy. I invite you to read my articles about how the French celebrate New Year in France. Exchanging vows for Christmas and the New Year has been practiced between neighbours for centuries in France. In the 4th century, the date of 25 December was decided upon as the birth date of Jesus. Families get together in prayer and carol singing in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ which tradition believed to have occurred at night. On Christmas morning, children run to the Christmas tree to see what Santa has left under it for them. The meal can go for up to six hours. Food is a big part of French Christmas traditions. Well during the Holiday, the historic town hosts a little Christmas market by the enchanting canals of the Little Venice district. The traditional colours of Christmas are red, gold and green: Poinsettia Flower copyright French Moments. The fine half-timbered houses that border the place du Marché provide an enchanting scene for this festive event. Like in any places celebrating Christmas, the French Père Noël wears: His big brown sack is packed full of toys. These days it’s rare to have an open fire, but some living in rural communities still bring a chosen log inside and sprinkle it with a little red wine to scent the house with a festive aroma as it burns. The Unesco-listed Place Stanislas welcomes a superb Christmas tree while the Ferries wheel of Place de la Carrière offers a breathtaking view of the town. Read more about these French traditions of Christmas: Advent in France. The oldest Christmas market in Europe is that of Strasbourg, which dates back to 1570. Planning a trip to Paris ? It’s common to put three candlesticks on the table, which represent the Trinity. This is when the Provençal Nativity started developing. Kaysersberg is also one of our favourite spots in Alsace. I love strolling from Place Broglié to the Petite France district via the Cathedral square. Floating carol singers in Colmar. But it is always an occasion for the family to sit down together and enjoy a variety of the most delicious dishes. Many consider the event as the first observance of the French Traditions of Christmas. The reconstituted Alsatian village with its half-timbered houses is beautifully decorated with Christmas trees everywhere! Inside there is a little note written on it. The run-up to Christmas in France is not that different from the … They were placed in a stocking. How do the French celebrate Christmas? These “traditions” are all fairly recent. Montbéliard at Christmas time © French Moments, ? Published in: Seasonal ideas. Christmas Eve Traditions. ? The picturesque district of La Petite France is also a great place to visit. ? Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. Head to the narrow rue des Orfèvres and rue du Maroquin near the cathedral. A French-Canadian Christmas Holiday Traditions from the Era of New France and Beyond. Tweet. Contrary to the traditional nativity, the Provençal nativity mingles biblical characters (Mary, Joseph, the donkey and the ox, the three wise men) with typical Provençal villagers (the town crier, the poacher, the old man and woman: Grasset and Grasseto, the washerwoman, etc…). They symbolise the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. A church service is held on Christmas Eve. ? The Central America indigenous plant is appreciated for its red and green foliage that recalls the traditional colours of Christmas. The French traditions of Christmas Markets (here Eguisheim in Alsace) © French Moments. The nativity scene. On 1 December children open their first ‘window/door’ in the Advent calendar. On January 6th, the French commemorate the visit of the 3 kings with a special cake: la galette des Rois. French Moments is about promoting the French culture and language through its website and social network. Rue des Orfèvres, Strasbourg © French Moments, ? ? This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. ? Are there any traditions here that you would like to include in your Christmas themed wedding? The oldest of French carols still sung today is “Entre le bœuf et l’âne gris”. Joyeux Noël! The festive market puts the emphasis on the character of Saint-Nicolas. In Provence, turkey is also found on the table during the Réveillon. Christmas preparation with Santa in Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments. 16 destinations + 256 pages + 340 photos... Get your copy of my new eBook: Christmas in Alsace – a Photographic Journey. It is actually an important Christmas tradition in France for many people who try to attend the mass, although more and more people prefer services on Christmas Day. There’s no extra cost to you. The picturesque old town of Obernai specialises in a gastronomic Christmas market. Read more, Christmas in Kaysersberg © French Moments, The wine-growing village may host a very small Christmas market but it has a lot of charm. On Christmas Eve, French children used to fill their shoes with carrots and treats for Père Noël’s donkey and leave them by the fireplace. ? Bonjour ! So same Christian traditions, right? To represent the baby Christ, St. Francis put a consecrated host in the nativity, although it was later replaced by a live infant. Here are 25 Christmas traditions in France to add to your festive celebrations. These are the nativity scenes or crèches displayed in many French homes. Bonne Année . Until the 1960’s, children in France received an orange and a small gift for Christmas. Les Treize is a Provençal French Christmas tradition, but is still worth mentioning as it involves eating 13 desserts after the main Christmas feast. Christmas lights in Wissembourg, Alsace © French Moments. Generosity is a big part of the French Christmas tradition. The town of Sélestat is located in central Alsace, between Strasbourg and Colmar. One of the reasons must be the proximity of Strasbourg. Parisians usually have seafood and oysters with bran bread and butter, caviar, foie gras (goose liver pate) with currant jam and the famous Christmas Yule log (a chocolate cake in the shape of a log, decorated with plastic or sugared Christmas objects). Paper crowns and small gifts and they become really popular in French as “ de... Mass to savour the French Christmas traditions are even on the left may contain affiliate sponsored! Made out of cherry wood on their hearths on Christmas Eve which continues into the French traditions Christmas. 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