The French like nothing more than delicious food and excellent company to start off the year, and they also have a few traditions a little different to here in the UK for seeing in the new year. If you are staying at our luxury gites, France
, this New Year, find out how you can join in the celebrations with the local community in true French style.
How do the French celebrate?
In France, the celebration of New Year is known as Revellion de la Saint-Sylvestre and just as Christmas is celebrated with the family in France, they also like to come together again for the New Year, with friends too. The evening starts with a feast, including oysters, foie gras, smoked salmon and champagne, which is seen as bringing in prosperity and good luck to the lives of those attending.
There may also be singing, such as Chanson du Nouvel An, Song of a New Year and the French version of Auld Lang Syne, Choral des Adieux.
Like many countries, there is a countdown to midnight, which is often done in a public space, with fireworks being set off at midnight at both public and private parties. It is then a typical tradition to kiss your friends and family under the mistletoe and then party all night long.
Saying Happy New Year in French
French people will rarely say Happy New Year or Bonne année which is simply happy year, before the actual day or celebration. However, you can expect to hear people saying Bonne année until February. There is a long running joke the French like to say happy new year to people they have not seen in the new year several months into the year!
How long do celebrations last?
The holiday fun is not over until January 6th, the day which officially ends the holiday season and when the Wise Men visited the baby Jesus. On January 6th they celebrate lEpiphanie by eating the galette des rois, the Kings Cake which is a flaky puff pastry filled with frangipane. If you are in Provence, the galette takes the form of a ring of brioche with candied fruits on it.
Here's a list of other related categories that you may wish to discover.