When talking about Christmas time in France, photos from Paris’s Christmas lights and romantic atmosphere come to our mind. Since this year traveling is a far-fetched dream, let’s take a mental trip to France, and learn a few things about the country’s holiday traditions and treats! Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the Epiphany, are also celebrated in France, with the company of lots of treats and wine.
On Christmas Eve, French people sit together to enjoy long meals with festive foods, such as foiegras, stuffed turkey with chestnuts, and smoked salmon. An interesting tradition on this day is to eat “Les Treize” (13) desserts, after the Christmas feast! Mulled wine and Champagne perfectly complete the celebratory dinner. On the same day, children leave their shoes in front of the fireplace, for “Père Noël” (Santa Claus) to find them and stuff them with small treats and presents.
Throughout the Christmas season, a classic French dessert is “Croquembouche”, a rather photogenic dessert that can take the form of a Christmas tree! It consists of small cream puffs with a spiced filling and hot sugar, that-with the help of a cone- create an edible ornament for your Christmas table. Plus, we could not skip “Bûche de Noel”, namely Yule log, that is popular in various countries outside France, such as Switzerland. This delicious dessert has nothing to envy from Croquembouche, as it is decorated very beautifully as well, with Christmassy elements.
An important element of French’s Christmas traditions is the mistletoe, that does not have a decorative role only, as people hang it on their doors to bring them good luck for the coming year. “Le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre” follows, namely the celebration of New Year’s Eve, as Saint- Sylvestre is the patron saint of the New Year. On this day, champagne is a must, and people eat delicious meals and exchange gifts. Lastly, on Epiphany (January 6th), called “Fête des Rois”, a French people eat a flat almond cake, named “Galette des Rois”, that is baked with a fève, namely a small trinket inside it, and whoever gets it in their slice, gets to be the queen or kind for the day!