In French, we call New Year’s Eve “La Saint-Sylvetre” (la sin(ansel) seal vay str) or “Le Reveillon de Nouvel An.” Like in the United States the French celebrate during the night of December 31st, usually parting with friends and/or family. In imaginations I am sure we all assume the French are decked out in their most fashionable run way clothing but realistically it is less formal.
So how do the French celebrate New Year’s Eve?
As it is here in the States, New Year’s Eve in France is a BIG deal, and of course there are parties. So if you are in France during New Year’s, expect to dance! Cause we French people LOVE TO DANCE…a lot! Sometimes they like to celebrate with a costume party. But not just any old costume party, the party usually has a theme!
Often New Years is spent with friends, rather than family. That isn’t to say that some do not spend their night with their families.
Of course at these parties discussions about resolutions are happening, les resoultions de la nouvelle annee!
Those who are at home, hanging out, snuggle maybe watch television, a live pop song show, musical or a variety show, or simply a really good movie! Depending on how cold it is, this is my go to option.
As with any place you go in the world, it is tradition to kiss at the stroke of midnight. S’embrasser Sous le Gui!. Followed by cheers, applauds, party streamers, whistles or air horns..lol
What does one eat on New Year’s in France?
Well, let’s just say there will be Champagne, and probably oysters. Of course no holiday party is complete with out foie gras, and smoked salmon. It is also tradition to have turkey, goose, or Cornish hens. Scallops and lobsters and venison are other popular items.
The villages and towns celebrate New Years Eve with fireworks and of course dances! However, French people do not wish each other Merry Christmas or Happy New Year before the big day, like we do here in the states. In France you will hear “Joyeux Noel” on Christmas Eve and day and “Bonne Annee” The week after the New Year, and that is all.
One other cool fact about New Years in France is the Holiday fun is not over until January 6th-which is the official end of the holiday season. On January 6th l”epiphanie is celebrated and of course a delicious special pastry is involved! If you’re in New Orleans or have ever heard of King’s cake, this la galette des rois, is similar!
Hopefully you enjoyed how the French celebrate New Year’s in France. If you have any questions , feel free to chat!