The presents offered to each other at Christmastime represent Saint Nicolas’s caring attitude for children. For the occasion, people decorate their churches with Christmas candles, Christmas trees and a Nativity scene. Typical desserts include fruits, nuts and sweets such as dried figs, hazelnuts or walnuts, almonds and dried grapes or a cake called Pompe à l’huile. Families get together in prayer and carol singing in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ which tradition believed to have occurred at night. Kaysersberg is also one of our favourite spots in Alsace. How do the French celebrate Christmas? Alongside the calendar is the decorated wreath. They are used to symbolise Jesus and his 12 apostles (orange, pear, apples, prunes, melon, white nougat, black nougat, pompe à l’huile [a flat cake filled with olive oil], sorb, dates, dry figs, almonds, nuts or hazel nuts, black raisins). The Christmas market in Saverne is not particularly big. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, in France and beyond. We really enjoy the French Christmas traditions, which is why we’ve spent so many holiday seasons in France. Midnight Mass in Sélestat © Selestadium Novum. French children put their shoes near the fireplace so … Christmas on the Champs-Élysées © French Moments. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Did you know? The Central America indigenous plant is appreciated for its red and green foliage that recalls the traditional colours of Christmas. Read more, The Village of Sharing in Place Kléber, Strasbourg © French Moments, The rich heritage of the town of Colmar is brilliantly enhanced with a festive (and vintage) Christmas light display. 5. This is not just for getting ideas of presents. The figurines are called santons and they include:- And there we have our guide to French Christmas traditions, we hope you have enjoyed hearing some ways the French like to celebrate the festive period. The legend goes that when Jesus and his family fled Egypt, the soldiers of Herod where about to catch them. Christmas Presents - Les Cadeaux de Noël. According to ancient tradition, French people burn Yule logs made out of cherry wood on their hearths on Christmas Eve. It was written in the early 16th century. Head to the narrow rue des Orfèvres and rue du Maroquin near the cathedral. Try FluentU for FREE! Created around the 3rd century, this tradition started spreading amongst Christians. One thing that is requisite in France, it is the traditional French Christmas cake for dessert. Until the 1960’s, children in France received an orange and a small gift for Christmas. Have a cookie The Christmas lights at the Champs-Elysées, The Nativity Scenes inside the churches of Paris, ? https://www.thespruceeats.com/french-christmas-recipes-1375385 French Christmas Traditions France is a country rich with traditions and cultural customs. ? That pretty much ends the long list of French Christmas traditions, but that doesn’t mean the Season’s festivities are over.. If you stand under it you will be kissed. The best travel bag for your next trip to France! They usually decorate the Christmas table and are an essential element of Christmas traditions in France. Saint-Nicholas and Santa-Claus – Saint-Nicolas et le Père Noël. 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). Le Réveillon. There are three versions of this cake and the most popular consists of flaky puff pastry layers with a center of frangipane or apple. The Christkindelsmärik on place Broglie, Strasbourg © French Moments. The four weeks before Christmas are dedicated to preparations for Christmas. With its rich display of Christmas lights, the is certainly one of the most beautiful Christmas markets I’ve ever visited! They are also symbolic of the gifts offered by the three wise men to Jesus on 6 January (at, The Gospel of Luke recounts the story of the, Christmas’ Eve in France – le Réveillon de Noël, 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, The French traditions of Christmas: the Midnight Mass, Each region of France has its own Christmas songs. Read more about the Nativity Scenes in France and Nativity scenes in Provence. It’s important never to wish anyone a Bonne Année (Happy New Year) before midnight on New Year’s Eve as this brings bad luck. Nativities (with life-size statues of the characters) and plays have been displayed in public places for centuries. Guide children through this detailed, interactive 'Celebrating Christmas in France' KS2 PowerPoint to broaden children's understanding of religious festivals in different countries. ? This blog © French Moments, 2012-2020 • All Rights Reserved • Developed by, The Guide to All the French traditions of Christmas, The French Traditions of Christmas: an overview, NEW eBook: Christmas in Alsace – a Photographic Journey, The French Traditions of Christmas start with Advent, Advent calendars – les calendriers de l’Avent. In Alsace and Burgundy, a roasted stuffed turkey/capon with potatoes is more common. ? The first nativity known to man dates back to the 6th century. In France, mistletoe (le gui) is not only used for New Year’s Eve. From songs, to Santa, let’s look at what it means to celebrate the holiday season in France. Dec 20, 2018 - Explore Stacy LM's board "French Christmas Traditions", followed by 912 people on Pinterest. Joyeux Noël! Nativity Scene of the church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois © French Moments. All French Christmas markets find their origins in Alsace. Saint Nicolas is celebrated in the Flanders, Lorraine and Alsace, as well as in Austria, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Between Strasbourg and Colmar, Sélestat takes pride in being the first place where a decorated Christmas tree was mentioned. Increasingly more families start this French Christmas tradition on Christmas Day, when it is easier for the whole family to gather together. It’s common to put three candlesticks on the table, which represent the Trinity. FREE (25) Cbrocheriou Je suis... FREE (2) Popular paid resources. (some nativities have it already present, though it is positioned upside down until Christmas Day). As in Northern America and in England, the poinsettia flower (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is widely used in Christmas floral displays, especially in Alsace. Little by little, the custom spread. The French give food to the poor (the aforementioned Pain Calendeau can never be eaten without sharing it with somebody who's down on his or her luck), and lots of presents to their children and to each other. You may change your settings at any time. Ask. It’s part of the French Christmas decorations, and is an important part of the French Catholic traditions around Christmas. He was originally the person distributing presents to German and French children on 6 December. Grid View List View. ? The evening of December 24th is when French families sit down together to celebrate Christmas and enjoy festive French foods and wines. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. Apart from Provençal nativities and live ones, there are also Baroque, Neapolitan, Comtoise nativities (from Franche-Comté) as well as theatre nativity scenes (which were presented in the town hall square of Paris for 17 years). Here are twelve to follow. The manger also features in the nativity. So Christmas is definitely in the air… but maybe a little bit less than … It includes 340+ photos, 256 pages and covers 16 destinations in Alsace. French people take a great deal of care when creating decorations for the Christmas Eve dinner. The Era of New France and beyond ideas about French Christmas tradition, sold massively in shops at table. ( with life-size statues of the Christian world traditions that make Alsace such a unique holiday destination a event. Most authentic Christmas markets in France, mistletoe ( le houx ) extended branches...: Poinsettia Flower copyright French Moments to other characters, such as England to ancient tradition French... 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