Merry Christmas in French: Joyeux Noel. In France, Christmas markets, concerts in churches, waiting for Pére Noel (Father Noel) or typical dishes are som of the traditions that will take part in the Christmas event. But not all regions of France celebrate the festivities the same way, in Alsace and Lorraine customs of German origin, are deeply rooted, while in the south the traditions keep a Mediterranean flavor.
The holidays themselves begin on December 24. Even so, at the end of November, Christmas shopping and decorations are triggered. The streets of the cities are filled with lights, the shop’s windows dress their best clothes, and the French begin visits to the department stores to collect gifts and typical products.
How to Say Merry Christmas in French?
Merry Christmas: Joyeux Noel
French Christmas Eve and Christmas are family celebrations par excellence. Families sit at the table to exchange good wishes. It is a country that prides itself on cultivating the art of gastronomy and hospitality around good food, the house is carefully decorated: candles lit on the table. Hanging holly twigs. During Christmas Eve, loved ones gather together to make representations of the birth of Christ. Also, at midnight the attend Mass. It is typical to eat duck or goose foie gras, boudin blanc, and roast turkey. As for dessert, “la bouche de Nöel” is served, a cake with the shape of a trunk covered with chocolate and filled with cream or truffle.
In northeastern France (Alsace and Lorraine), due to German influence, Christmas celebrations begin on December 6th with the arrival of Saint Nicholas, who brings gifts to children. The Advent calendar indicates day by day the period of the Christmas holiday period, through a series of windows, initially closed: one must be opened each day to indicate the date and remember the celebration that corresponds to the day.
On Christmas, Eve children leave their shoes by the fireplace, which are filled with gifts by Pére Nöel (Santa Claus), as the white-bearded man is known there. In addition, on Christmas morning the children find under the tree.
Until the 19th Century, Christmas trees were decorated with fruits, especially apples, but in 1858 the harvest was bad and the master glassmakers of Moselle, in Lorraine, put a new decorative motif into fashion; glass balls. Tradition has remained since then.
Although it is more common for houses to be adorned with the typical Christmas tree, “creche” is very entrenched in southern France, very similar to the Spanish Nativity scene. In Provence, clay figurines are very common to decorate the manger and are known as “santons”, which in Provencal means saints.
On January 2nd, Everyone returns to normal, with no more parties linked to Christmas. However, a very important tradition that should not be forgotten is to send greeting cards (cartes de Voeux). In France, this is usually done not in December but during January, since in this month one is already free of obligations such as purchases, preparations and Christmas Parties.
How to Say "Merry Christmas" in French
Posted by Daily News Gallery on Friday, December 13, 2019