The Traditional Christmas in France is one of the biggest events of the year. It’s a religious holiday of course since traditionally France is a Catholic country, but it’s also a family holiday. First, we celebrate the day before (Réveillon de Noël) on December 24th in the family. Presents are opened during this time or in the morning on the 25th. At my home, we like to open the gifts on December 24th after midnight so the night on 24th and 25th. Since when we were kids we couldn’t wait the morning to open but my mom doesn’t want us to do it on the 24th so we decide to wait until midnight. And we kept these habits until now.
In my family we loved Christmas and I liked to have all my family around, grandparents, uncle, cousins, etc. To eat a good meal, dress the table and sing Christmas songs;
However, the meal is very important and is a rather festive occasion. Children also put out their shoes rather than their Christmas stockings. The Père Noël can then fill the shoes up with little treats or presents.
The typical traditional meals is “foie gras” on toast, salmon toast, champagne, sweet wine, Christmas Los, snails, chicken roast with potatoes etc…
Christmas per region, Provence (the South of France), in particular, has many traditions like the 13 desserts, the fat super etc….
In Alsace (the northeast), Christmas traditions are very present. But in most of France, traditions are similar to the ones in the United States.
In Champagne Ardenne, Christmas was places under the sign of gluttony by putting the waffles in the spotlight.
Moreover, we do have a Christmas Market starting begin of December in each city. The biggest is the Strasbourg market in the North of France. Strasbourg gets decked out in all its finery. At the end of the afternoon, as night draws in, the magic begins to work across the city. Thousands of Christmas lights and decorations sparkle and twinkle to create a bewitching atmosphere in the Alsatian capital.
Paris, the capital has a big market in La Defense, contemporary illuminations and decorations give the market a more modern feel than others in Paris, though you can expect all the Christmassy comforts like mulled wine, hot dogs, and snug spaces to huddle together and raise a glass to the season.
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