Christmas Traditions in France

Christmas in France is celebrated from St. Nicholas Day on December 6th to The Epiphany on January 6th. Merry Christmas is said Joyeux Noel. Traditions can vary dependent on where in the country you live. Here are some important aspects of their Christmas:

Decorations – The nativity scene is a major item. In addition, creche are readily used. These can be any wooden crafted accompaniment to the nativity. A Christmas tree is not very popular in France.

Food – Le Reviellon is the Christmas Eve feast. Turkey stuffed with chestnuts is common. On the 12th day of Christmas, which falls on the Epiphany, a cake called the galette des rois is eaten. It is known as the king of cakes. A charm known as the feve is in one of them and whoever gets it gets to wear the crown. They are king and queen of the season!

Christmas Eve – Presents are typically exchanged on Christmas Eve. Clogs are left by the fire for Santa to fill.

Traditions – There do not tend to be sales around Christmas, and gifts are modest. Midnight mass is still popular in this area. The Yule log is burned from Christmas Eve to New Years, an old tradition linked to the trough in olden times.

Santa – There is actually a law that dictates that every letter to Santa has to receive at least a postcard in return. How cool is that? It helps to keep the idea that Santa is real alive in Children. Much like Black Peter in some tales, Santa brings a helper with him. His name is Pere Fouettard, or whipping father. Santa specifically is known as Pere Noel.

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