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French 9: Christmas in France
Transcript of French 9: Christmas in France
Noël en France
French 9: Christmas in France
The most important aspects of Christmas in France are shown through family gatherings, gifting other individuals and Midnight Mass. Even with the many examples listed above, other acts of generosity are present.
Even though Christmas is generally celebrated on the twenty-fifth of December, each region will have unique ways in celebrating Christmas.
For example on the eighth of December (la Fête de lumières) in Lyon, the Lyonnais pay hommage to the virgin Mary by putting candles in their windows to light up the city.
French Christmas Traditions
As one of the most iconic Christmas tradition, children in France wait in anticipation for Père Noël (Father Christmas/Santa Claus) to bring them gifts.
Many items such as, candy, fruit, nuts, and small toys will be hung onto the Christmas tree during the evening. In other regions of France, in equivalence of Santa Claus giving out coal for the misbehaved children, there is Père Fouettard who spanks the bad children.
Even with a diminishing amount of people attending la Messe de Minuit (Midnight Mass), it will still be considered to be an important aspect of Christmas celebration. Following the mass, a large feast is held, this feast is called Le Réveillon.
This meal contains a symbolic meaning to the birth of Christ. It is also generally enjoyed at home, a restaurant or a café. Every region in France has its own unique menu, containing dishes such as: goose, chicken, capon, turkey stuffed with chestnuts and oysters.
French Christmas Desserts
Similar to Le Réveillon, there is a wide variety of desserts available during Christmas. Some examples would include:
La bûche de Noël – Otherwise known as a Yule Log, this is a cake, constructed into the shape of a log in which is descorated with many other ingredients such as nuts, icing and sprinkles. La bûche de Noël is a direct representation of the unique log of wood that is burned during Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.
Le pain calendal – Also known as a Christmas loaf, the le pain calendal is commonly a generous gift given to a individual who is less fortunate. It follows the tradition of giving to the poor, when you are more fortunate.
La Galette des Rois – Can be described as a simplistic round cake that is divided and distributed by a child. Hidden within the pieces of cake, lays a charm. This hidden charm is otherwise known as the la fève. The lucky individual that finds the charm is then named King or Queen.
The most iconic and common Christmas decoration is the sapin de Noël, otherwise known as the Christmas tree. The tradition of possessing a decorated tree started in the fourteenth century, the tree was then decorated with apples, paper flowers, and ribbons. Finally, the sapin de Noël tradition introduced in France in 1837.
French Christmas Decoration
Another iconic decoration of Christmas in France is the display of crèche filled with santons. These were commonly displayed in houses, churches and even street located shops. In addition, living crèches in the form of plays and puppet shows based on the Nativity are commonly performed to teach the important ideas of Christianity and the Christmas celebration. Other tradition would include hanging mistletoe on ones’ door during the Christmas season to bring good fortune to that family.
Family Gathering: http://blog.everhear.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/holiday-gathering.jpg
Family Gathering II: http://ak1.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/1637326/preview/stock-footage-a-family-gathering-at-the-dinner-table.jpg
Candles II: http://sufihub.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/soy_candles.jpg
Santa Claus: http://www.skytop.com/Content/uploads/Image/santa-claus3.jpg
Santa Claus II: http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/santa-claus-pics-0101.jpg
Christmas Tree: http://alteredgroundslandscaping.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/christmas-tree-pics-0111.jpg
Feast II: http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2008/12/RomanFeastApex_450x300.jpg
Christmas Log: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7rxXGXJYj48/TRCojB_W5nI/AAAAAAAAFsk/TqPgdYe_2_o/s1600/yule+log.jpg
Christmas Log II: http://i4.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article281843.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/yule-log-458226947-281843.jpg
Christmas Log III: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LvR7XfnpJMQ/TQGrmZg89FI/AAAAAAAAAww/4MWlXzybNmE/s1600/DSC02881.JPG
Christmas Loaf: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/sites/bbcgoodfood.com/files/recipe_images/recipe-image-legacy-id--80548_12.jpg
Christmas Loaf II: http://wishesndishes.com/images/2012/02/Festive-Christmas-Cherry-Pound-Cake-Loaf-2.jpg
Christmas Loaf III: http://www.deerfieldsbakery.com/dev/images/items/cakes/Gift-Christmas-Fruit-Cake-Loaf_MD.jpg
La Galette des Rois: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Brioche_des_Rois_dsc06781.jpg
Christmas Tree: http://www.hdwallpaperscool.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/christmas-tree-hd-wallpapers-cool-desktop-images-widescreen.jpg
Created by Alex Yan