Celebrating the New Year in France

07th December, 2015
With its beautiful scenery and traditions which have been adopted around the world, France is an excellent place to bring in the New Year, and what better place to stay than our villas in France? Compared to the UK, France has slightly different customs and traditions when it comes to celebrating New Year ? read on to find out more.

New Year?s Eve is also known as la Saint-Sylvestre in France, as Saint Sylvestre?s feast day also falls on December 31st, though the celebrations often have no religious connection. The evening usually begins with a traditional feast which usually includes roast goose or turkey, as well as foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon and champagne, and then continues into a party lasting well into the night, which can range from an intimate family gathering to a soiree dansante (ball).

Once the clock approaches midnight, just like the UK does, the French also begin the countdown. While many do it at home, others attend public countdowns which take place in several French cities, followed by spectacular firework displays. Upon the clock turning 12, people normally start the new year by kissing their friends and family under the mistletoe, with the kind of kiss depending on your relationship with the person, before offering their best wishes for the new year.

New Year?s Day is known as le Jour de l?An, when friends and family exchange cards, gifts and New Year?s Resolutions. Rather than exchanging cards at Christmas time, the French tend to exchange their cards at New Year instead. The holiday season comes to an end on Epiphany, January 6, when the French celebrate by enjoying a traditional cake known as la galette des rois.

Image: Falcon Photography, available under Creative Commons