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French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home

December 07, 2020
The French certainly have it going on! From the way they dress to the food they eat, they've influenced the rest of the world. It's no wonder a lot of people look up to them and even dream to live in France. For a good many people out there, going to France and living out a French lifestyle is the life! Nowadays, however, traveling to France, or to any other country for that matter, isn't exactly the best idea because of the pandemic. Not to worry, as the holidays draw near, you can still celebrate them the French way even at home.
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home


Le Réveillon Feast

Practically no holiday celebration is complete without a big feast. And the French know that more than anyone. Most of their holidays include their finest food on the table to be shared with friends and family. But during Christmas, it's even more special. On this particular holiday, they enjoy Le Réveillon. Derived from the term ' réveiller,' meaning 'to revive,' it's a big and long feast especially served and enjoyed during Christmas. Oftentimes it starts at brunch time and goes on until the early hours of the evening. It's a time in which families spend most of the day together, eating good food and enjoying each other's company.
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


(Online) Midnight Mass

As most of the French are Roman Catholic, they hear mass every Christmas Eve. As the clock strikes 12, they all put on their Sunday's best and head to church to hear the word of God. Of course, nowadays, because of the current global pandemic, people gathering in one place, even if it's in a church, is not encouraged. So this Christmas Eve, to follow up on this particular tradition, you can always stream a midnight mass at home instead. And don't worry about the language barrier, a good many churches in Paris hear English masses, so if you don't speak French, you're fine!
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Shoes By The Fireplace

One of the more unique French Christmas traditions is how kids anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. In other countries, many would hand their stockings up on the fireplace and leave some milk & cookies for the red-cloaked character. In France, however, they do things a little bit differently. Instead of hanging stockings by the fireplace, they leave their actual pairs of shoes instead. And it's there where Santa leaves all the gifts and treats for all the nice boys and girls. So not only do people wake up to presents on Christmas day, they also end up with warm and toasty footwear to keep them cozy on the holiday.
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


A Sweet Christmas with Les Treize

Now, it's no secret that the French are into sweets. So much so that they even have some reserved just for the holidays. And they'd eat them in a dessert feast called 'Les Treize.' Lining up 13 different kinds of desserts on the dinner table—meant to symbolize Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples—everyone has to try each and every dessert at least once. The treats range from seasonal fruits, pastries, biscuits, and more. And the day isn't through until all of the desserts have been gobbled up and eaten. Sounds like a great French tradition to do at home, right?
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Serving Papillotes

One of the desserts that may be part of Les Treize is a candy known as a 'papillote.' Basically a chocolate or candied fruit, it's become one a go-to treat for the French during the holidays. It's the type of candy your grandmother would put in a glass bowl in the living room, welcoming people to get as many as they want. Or the kind of treat that your parents would give out to Christmas carollers after they've sung their hearts out on your front door. They're the quintessential holiday treats that French homes will never be without during this time of the year.
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Pop Open The Champagne

It's no secret that the French love drinking, and for a special occasion like Christmas, there's only one type of drink that'd suffice: champagne! This luxurious beverage is also a quintessential French treat during the holidays. It's the time to be merry, after all. And for the French, celebrating and being merry isn't complete without a bottle of wine to pop open. The act alone has become a merry little ritual in its own right. And as much as you want to spray people with champagne, many would probably prefer that you pour some in their glasses instead!
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Celebrating La Fête des Rois Afterwards

After Christmas, the French have another holiday to look forward to—La Fête des Rois! In English, it's known as the 'Feast of the Three Kings,' and it's held every January 6 of the following year. Celebrating the day the Three Wise Men reached Bethlehem and saw the newborn Jesus Christ, it's an important holiday for many Catholic-dominant countries. And just like Christmas Day, the French hear mass, pray, and enjoy some family time on this holiday too. At times, they’d even repeat the big feasts they've already enjoyed a few days earlier.
French Holiday Traditions You Can Do At Home
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Even if you can't go to France for the holidays, that shouldn't have to stop you from having a very merry and very French Christmas! A lot of the country's traditions during this special holiday can be done anywhere, even in your own home wherever that may be!

Any or all of these French holiday celebrations are best done in a luxury rental if you’re already in France at this time. That'd make your Christmas even merrier than ever!




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