By Catherine Rickman
Christmastime is all about pomp and circumstance and tradition, and who does tradition better than the meticulous French? In this video from France-based New Zealander Rosie (AKA Not Even French, currently back in NZ for quarantine), you’ll get to explore a few of the fun habits the French have picked up over several hundred Decembers.
Some things are similar, like Santa Claus or Père Noël, but did you know about his spooky brother, Père Fouettard? How about what a papillote is? Or what French children leave out for Santa instead of stockings? Rosie touches on things like the religious remnants of Catholic France, like the popularity of calendriers de l’avent or the handmade santons in a crèche, or nativity scene. She covers Réveillon, the great Christmas Eve feast (more on that here), and mentions the delicious Treize Desserts popular in Provence. And we’ll help fill in her gaps on knowledge of French Christmas songs in this list.
So whether you’re spending Christmas in France, or just dreaming of the vitrines at the Galeries Lafayette, enjoy this little sampler of French holiday customs this season.