Discover with me all the French traditions for the festive season!

Every country has its own tradition for each event. As we are in the Christmas period, I decided here to share with you our Christmas tradition here in France.

Maybe some families have other ones or are not doing all of them but here is my little selection just for you.

Drink champagne!

This delicious sparkling wine comes from France! And we are used to drinking it for festive moments. This drink comes from the Champagne region. It was created in the 17th century by Dom Pérignon (you probably know the brand). There are different types of champagne as :

  • Brut champagne
  • Pink champagne
  • Blanc de blancs champagne
  • Blanc de noirs champagne

Try them and find the one that suits you the most ūüėČ

Our traditional meal

    • Turkey fill up with chestnut
    • Sea food (oyster, salmon)
    • Foie gras is generally served with candied onion, fig jam and toast bread
    • Snails (trust me, it’s good when it’s well prepared). I was born in the snails region, so I was used to eating some since I was a child .. We are used to cooking them with butter, parsley, garlic, shallot, so tasty!
    • Cheese plate with an assortment of different types of cheese from everywhere in France or only from your region.
    • Yule log cake

Our traditional meal

    • Turkey fill up with chestnut
    • Sea food (oyster, salmon)
    • Foie gras is generally served with candied onion, fig jam and toast bread
    • Snails (trust me, it’s good when it’s well prepared). I was born in the snails region, so I was used to eating some since I was a child .. We are used to cooking them with butter, parsley, garlic, shallot, so tasty!
    • Cheese plate with an assortment of different types of cheese from everywhere in France or only from your region.
    • Yule log cake

Focus on the Yule log cake tradition

The tradition was to burn a really big Yule log in the fireplace of the house. This one should burn really slowly and ideally during all the nights of Christmas. Gathered around the fireplace, the families and friends blessed the yule log to get the protection of their home or better harvest for next year.

Then, the tradition changes with the years but it’s why we keep the symbol of the Yule log at the end of the Christmas meal.

13 desserts of Provence

Having a lot of dessert for Christmas was a sign of plenty for farmers families. The number 13 comes later in the 20th century and brings religious symbolism: The Last Supper of the Christ and his apostles. The 13 desserts are placed in a large dish and stay on the table for 3 days after Christmas. It’s a tradition that highlights the sharing and the sacrifice of Christ. Traditionally, the 13 desserts were eaten after the midnight mass.

Here is the list of the desserts:

    • walnuts
    • dry figs
    • dry grapes
    • dates
    • quince jam
    • varied candied fruits
    • a¬†fougasse
    • white¬†nougat
    • black¬†nougat (with grilled almond and caramelized honey)
    • red nougat (pistachio and rose flavor)
    • Calissons¬†from Aix-en-Provence (candy from Provence composed of candied melon confit, marzipan and royal icing on the top)
    • Oranges, clementines or mandarin oranges
    • a watermelon

13 desserts of Provence

Having a lot of dessert for Christmas was a sign of plenty for farmers families. The number 13 comes later in the 20th century and brings religious symbolism: The Last Supper of the Christ and his apostles. The 13 desserts are placed in a large dish and stay on the table for 3 days after Christmas. It’s a tradition that highlights the sharing and the sacrifice of Christ. Traditionally, the 13 desserts were eaten after the midnight mass.

Here is the list of the desserts:

    • walnuts
    • dry figs
    • dry grapes
    • dates
    • quince jam
    • varied candied fruits
    • a¬†fougasse
    • white¬†nougat
    • black¬†nougat (with grilled almond and caramelized honey)
    • red nougat (pistachio and rose flavor)
    • Calissons¬†from Aix-en-Provence (candy from Provence composed of candied melon confit, marzipan and royal icing on the top)
    • Oranges, clementines or mandarin oranges
    • a watermelon

    Lights everywhere

    Each city and village is decorated with really nice Christmas lights, even small villages. Everywhere, each place tries to decorate its village city on the street lamps, the city hall. It brings just a nice atmosphere everywhere when the night is coming.

    “The poor seat”

    Symbolized by an empty place setting at the table the day for Christmas Eve dinner.

    It was intended for a beggar that could pass and ask for charity that night. Don’t forget that Christmas is first a symbol of sharing and charity.

    “The poor seat”

    Symbolized by an empty place setting at the table the day for Christmas Eve dinner.

    It was intended for a beggar that could pass and ask for charity that night. Don’t forget that Christmas is first a symbol of sharing and charity.

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