France usually undergoes a transformation throughout the festive season. The city of Paris, for instance, and its most beautiful monuments are illuminated, Christmas decorations adorn the streets, and department store windows are all filled with animated displays. Markets, Nativity scenes, open-air ice rinks, merry-go-rounds and a host of other activities and events take over the city of lights, offering fun for all. Parisians and visitors are the ones that keep the festive spirit alive all the way into the New Year, with special events for an unforgettable and cautious holiday season. Check out our top 10 French Christmas Stories, Facts and Events you should know even as you celebrate in 2016.
1. Christmas In France
As reminded on WhyChristmas.com, in France, a Nativity crib is often used to help decorate the house. French cribs have clay figures in them. During December some towns and cities, such as Marseille, have fairs that sell Nativity figures. As well as having the normal Nativity figures in them, French scenes also have figures such as a Butcher, a Baker, a Policeman and a Priest. More on Christmas in France from Why Christmas can be found here.
2. Christmas in France: Nine things that might surprise you.
Are you planning to spend Christmas in France ? Have you recently moved here?
In either case, you need to know that French festivities, though similar to those of many other nations in many ways (elves, turkey, drink-driving campaigns), are also very different. Some of those differences have been detailed by Anthony Peregrine in his article published last year on the Telegraph’s travel website. Here’s the entire article.
3. The Dishes that make up a French Christmas feast.
Oysters (just to name this one): While some of us might kind of grimace at the idea of seafood for Christmas dinner, our French friends and particularly Parisians have a big appetite for it. And biensûr, oysters don't come cheap but, apparently, they are nice, big and juicy around this time of year. Oysters will normally be served up as an appetizer at Le Reveillon to get diners in the mood for, well, more food. So, if you really fancy ditching that traditional turkey and "waking up" with a French-style Christmas Eve dinner, you should check the Local France’s list of ten dishes that make up a French Christmas feast. Here’s the article.
4. Noël En France.
If you want to say 'Merry Christmas' in French you just need to say 'Joyeux Noël' and Santa is le Père Noël. If you are planning on sending him a letter then it should start like: - Cher Père Noël....
In this Euro School Club’s article, you’ll find interesting insights about the history of Christmas celebrations in France right from the times of the kings to modern days. “In many parts of northern and eastern France, Christmas celebrations begin on December 6 - also known as 'Saint Nicholas' Day”. Find the entire story right here.
5. French Christmas Terms.
Here’s to every French language learner out there. To help you celebrate Christmas wherever you are, Lawless French has put together a list of general French christmas terms like Joyeux Noël, la messe de minuit, Décembre, un sapin de Noël and many many more. Here’s the article.
6. Christmas Markets in Paris.
Image courtesy of france.fr
Here we go. When Christmas Markets are back in Paris our reaction is always like “OMG, it has already been a year”! Time goes really fast… and in a few weeks, the Christmas bells will ring once again for the happiness of all, despite the years passing by. And to help you enjoy this unavoidable and unforgettable moment, the City of Paris has helped to install Christmas markets throughout the city. So, put on your favorite beanie, because believe me, it’s worth it. This Sortir à Paris’ article keeps you regularly updated on the full list of the Christmas Markets in Paris and its region.
The French police recently arrested and detained seven people of French, Moroccan and Afghan origin in Marseille and in the eastern city of Strasbourg. It’s been reported that 43 people have been arrested in November 2016 alone as part of anti-terror operations following deadly Islamic State attacks on France over the past two years. Many of these arrests came days before the opening of the famed Christmas market in Strasbourg, which attracts tourists from across Europe and was the target of a failed extremist plot in 2000.
The US State Department made it very clear recently, reminding citizens that extremists had carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, saying it was particularly concerned about the potential for attacks across Europe.
“US citizens should exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.,” the statement stressed. “Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds, when possible.” “Have an emergency plan of action ready,” the State Department advised. This travel alert will expire on February 20, 2017.
8. Expats Paris Christmas Party.
What could be better than a Christmas Bash in the City of Lights? When it comes to selecting a Christmas party dress code, an ugly sweater is surely the thing…Ugly is good but horrid is better. So, we’re inviting everyone to come have a Christmas Bash in one of the trendiest Parisian bars right near the Champs Elysées. Put on a Ho-Ho-Horrible Holiday sweater because the uglier, the merrier. We’ll have a special prize for the person wearing the ugliest sweater. This is an amazing opportunity to practice your foreign language skills with other Paris-based expats and their French friends. Sign up here.
9. Christmas illuminations Paris.
The streets of Paris take on a new and even more beautiful look throughout the festive season. The magical Christmas decorations and lights in almost all the Paris arrondissements are definitely worth a peek. The Champs-Elysées: The most beautiful avenue in the world is even more beautiful with its Christmas decorations. Check out these lovely images from Parisianist.
10. 30 Ways To Enjoy Christmas in Paris 2016.
Image courtesy of Paris je t'aime
From Ice-skating to Free Carousel rides through lego workshops at l’hotel de ville, Mama Loves Paris has got you covered with her definitive guide to the very best family fun this Christmas in Paris. Check out her article here.
Bonus: GIFT IDEAS FOR PARIS LOVERS by Lily.
Image courtesy of JeTaimeMeNeither
Paris is always a good idea, isn’t it? Do you happen to be a Paris lover or know someone that is? You may like the collection of Lily’s favorite Paris themed gift ideas that go from prints to books and from chocolate to the gift of travel. Check this gift collection out.
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