New Year celebrations in France are popularly called “R?eveillon”. Earlier, French people used to celebrate New Year between the end of March and the beginning of April. However, after the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, in 1582, they adopted the reformed calendar. Today, like other parts of the world, they consider 1st January as the beginning of the year. In France, New Year's Eve (31st December) is called la Saint-Sylvestre. On this day, people either go for simple, intimate celebrations with their family members and close friends or organize celebrations on a grand scale. Know more about New Year celebration in France in the lines below.
New Year Celebrations In France
Usually, people have a grand feast on the New Year Eve called le R?eveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. Special dishes like pancakes and foie gras are compulsorily made for the feast. People have absolute mirth and joy with drinks like champagne. French peole believe that these dishes and drinks bring prosperity to their house. They also enjoy a ball dance with their near and dear ones, which is popularly called une soir?ee dansante. In Southwest France, people attend evening mass on the New Year Eve and take part in the torchlight procession. The procession goes towards the vineyards, for the mulled wine.
At midnight, the French kiss each other under the mistletoe and give warm wishes for the coming year. Unlike other countries, kissing under mistletoe is more a New Year custom in France, than the Christmas custom. A famous New Year parade takes place in Paris every year. Thousand of performers from all over the world steal the show with wonderful songs, dances and other cultural activities. The parade goes through several streets in Paris. Generally, it starts on 31st December and passes through Chantilly to reach Trocardero, under the Eiffer Tower on the last day, January 1.
New Year is called le Jour de l'An in France, wherein people share their resolutions among near and dear ones. They also exchange cards and gifts, which reflect the mood and spirit of the celebration. This is the perfect time for family members and friends to be with each other. They dine together, have fun and form great memories. Some people also prepare heart or log shaped desserts, usually made from ice cream. People are highly excited and welcome the fresh year whole-heartedly. In France, New Year celebration last till January 6, ending with Epiphany, when the natives enjoy a traditional cake called la galette des rois.