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French v. American Holidays
Transcript of French v. American Holidays
Both France and America have their own set of holidays, but they also have several holidays and traditions in common.
French Christmas celebrations and traditions are very similar to those in America, with a few differences.
Santa is called Pere Noel in France.
Instead of stockings, French children put out shoes for Pere Noel.
Christmas dinner is called le Reveillon.
Nativity scenes are made of small terracotta figurines called santons.
Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of January, or the first Sunday between January 2 or 8, and it is the celebration of when the three Wise Men or Kings gave gifts to Jesus.
Tradition is to make la galette des rois, or King's Cake, and to put a charm inside and whoever recieves the slice with the charm is King/Queen for the day.
The American celebration of Epiphany is very similar to that of the French.
However, the tradition to celebrate Epiphany is Catholic, and many Protestants do not celebrate it, including my family.
Celebrated on April 1st, this holiday is very similar to our April Fool's. Jokes, including trying to put a picture of a fish on someone's back in honor of the old tradition to gift a fake fish, and gags are played for fun and the traditional phrase is, "Poisson d'avril!"
French Poisson d'avril
Again, like France, we celebrate April Fool's with jokes and gags, though we don't place fish on each others' backs.
My family does not participate annually in this, though we have played a few small jokes on each other in the past.
American April Fool's
The French version of July 4, this holiday is celebrated July 14. It is called Bastille day in remembrance of its origin and the storming of Bastille prison.
There is a military parade, fireworks, dances, feasts, and red/white/blue decorations in honor of the national flag.
The American Independence day is celebrated on July 4. Like the French, we also celebrate with parades, red/white/blue decorations and fireworks.
My family traditionally goes to the local festivities.
French Holidays vs. American
My family's Christmas is only slightly different from the traditional French Christmas.
We do not put out shoes for Santa, we use stockings.
We have a stained glass nativity scene, since we don't have santons.
Dinner does not have a fancy name.
Glass Nativity Set
La galette des rois
American King's Cake
Placing fish on others' backs
French military parade
By Jessica Tufts