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Christmas in FranceAll About Travelling
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Christmas in France

Oct, 18 || 1 Comment | Tags: ,

In France , Christmas is family reunion time and generosity , marked by gifts and candy for children , gifts for the poor , Midnight Mass and New Year’s Eve ( Reveillon).

Early Christmas in France

Christmas customs , originating in the Middle East , have been placed on this area by the Romans. Reims city was the place where the former celebrated Christmas for the first time in France , in the year 496 , during which Clovis , with its 3,000 fighters , was baptized , thus passing to Christianity. At first , the French do not have adjusted to the celebration and Christmas tree to adorn barely started in 1605 ( Stratesburg was the first city to adopt this habit ) . And now Christmas is celebrated in different dates, depending on the region, and even has a different name .

Although most of the province is celebrated on December 25 , the day when banks are closed in eastern and northern France , the Christmas Season begins on December 6 , with La fête de Saint Nicolas (the Feast of St. Nicholas ) in other areas, at Fête des Rois ( Feast of the Kings ) is a major event that takes place on December 6 or on the first Sunday after January 1 . On December 8 , in Lyon, takes place at the faces of the Lumières ( Festival of Lights ) , during which candles are placed in windows as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.

Old habits

When the French began to get used to the idea of ​​celebrating Christmas every year , Christmas traditions in France began to take shape. Each family was a general cleaning and preparing delicious dishes , which were placed on a table beautifully decorated , located in the most spacious room in the house and they were all gathered around the table family members and after eating , they start to sing carols .

In some areas of the country , children ” dressed ” with colorful ribbons a lamb and going from door to door , singing the opening the door and waiting instead money , fruits or sweets. In other regions , families gathered to grandfather thought the family, and enjoy a meal consisting of fish and garlic and vegetables with dessert and wine Alvita Always boil. In rural areas , children on fire an olive tree and sprinkle dry fire come to bless dinner . He sat at the table at the end that starts to sing carols , and then went to the church to attend the service .

A French Christmas

French christmasToday the traditions of Christmas in France varies . It is a very important opportunity for the French , because I care very much to family unity and it is imperative that all members come together at the table. French Children place their shoes in front of the fireplace , hoping Pere Noel or Papa Noel ( Father Noel ) or “le petit Jesus” ( ” little Jesus ” ) will fill them with gifts . Candy , fruit , nuts and small toys are hung on the branches of the Christmas tree . There is a Fouettard Pere ( Father Fouettard ), which has a duty to knock down the children who were naughty during the year.

The name ” Noel ” comes from the phrase ” les bonnes nouvelles ” , meaning the “good news” .

In 1962 , France was voted a law that all letters sent to Pere Noel ( Santa Claus ) must be answered with a postcard . To comply with this law , teachers tutr Response Messages sent schoolchildren who writes Papa Noel .

On Christmas Eve it is customary to fast all day , that at midnight the whole family , except for small children to go to church or cathedral for the job .

After attending “La Messe Minuit ” ( Midnight Mass ) , the French gather in groups of friends or family to celebrate ” Le Reveillon ” ( New Year ) to a feast at home, at a restaurant or a café. Every French region has its own culinary traditions related to New Year dishes with turkey , capon , chicken or boudin blanc ( white pudding ) . Pieces are sprinkled with wine Muscadet , Anjou , Sauterne and Champagne . The word ” Reveillon ” comes from the verb ” reveiller ” = ” to wake up , to awake .” New Year is an ” awakening ” symbolic , signifying the birth of Jesus .

Over the Christmas period , serve traditional desserts :

-La Buche de Noel ( ” hub Noel ” ) , consisting of an oblong chocolate cake with chestnuts , which reproduces the form of a burnt stump between Christmas Eve and New Year in Périgord , reminiscent of an ancient pagan ritual ;
-Le pain calendar ( ” Bread calendar ” ) – Christmas bread made ​​in southern France, offering a piece of poor people ;
-La Galette des Rois ( ” Cake of Kings / Magi “), a round cake , cut into pieces which are divided by a child hiding under the table , called “le petit roi ” or ” l’ enfant soleil ” (the little king or baby sun ) . Who is ” the feve ” hidden bean cake is “king ” or ” queen ” and may choose a partner.

Between Christmas decorations French , plays a major role Sapin de Noel ( Noel ‘s Tree ) that adorns homes , streets , offices and factories . Sapin de Noel appeared in the fourteenth century in Alsace , decorated with apples, paper flowers and ribbons , and was introduced in France in 1837 .


Another important aspect is the French Christmas Crèche scenes depicting moments in the birth of the Savior, the Holy Family is located next to Santons ( “little saints” ) , and is exposed in churches and homes. To give a final touch scene from ” Crèche ” , children decorate them with moss , stones and twigs of the tree. When you light the candles , ” Creches ” are central to the celebration of Christmas. Children gather around them and sing carols until the day of Epiphany , on January 6. There are animated Crèche consisting of theater with children or dolls depicting the events of the birth of Jesus.

Familiar scene holy ” Crèche ” was introduced in Avignon by the family of St. Francis of Assisi between 1316 and 1334 , but only in the sixteenth century has become a tradition embraced by popular culture .

In southern France, in Provence , in ” Crèche ” are introduced and the three wise men , shepherds , animals, villagers dressed in old traditional costumes . These figures include a mayor of the village, a peasant , a gypsy , a drummer and other colorful characters . Another custom in Provence is dressing shepherds of people taking part in a procession that gives round the church.

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