Archive for the ‘France Holidays’ Category

La Fete De La Victoire: French Celebration Of WWII Victory In Europe

The end of World War II, also known as Victory Day in Europe, is celebrated as a national holiday on May 8 every year in at least seven countries in Europe. In France, the celebration is called “La Fete de la Victoire”.

It will be recalled that it was on May 8, 1945 when Charles de Gaulle, then leader of the Forces Francaises Libres (FFL), announced the end of the Second World War in France. This announcement was made a day after the unconditional surrender of the forces of Nazi Germany was accepted by the Allies. It is fitting that France observes this momentous event every year, especially since it was in the city of Reims where the act of military surrender was signed.

How does France celebrate La Fete De La Victoire? First of all, since it is a public holiday, most business establishments are closed on this day; so are banks and post offices. Except on tourist areas, cafes, restaurants, and stores may also be closed. One may find some stores open on this day along main direct roads, at railway stations, or at airports. Those planning to spend the holiday in Paris will find many stores open there on this day.

Also note that roads, particularly those in the center of cities or towns, may be closed for parades. And depending on where one resides and intends to travel, schedules of public transport service may differ from those of ordinary days.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

During the entire week preceding May 8, all educational institutions incorporate special lessons in their classes, which focus on the history of the Second World War and the oppressive acts committed by Nazi Germany against the French people. Through these lessons, every succeeding generation will be informed of the events that took place during the war and will have a better understanding of the importance of preserving the rights of every human being.

La Fete de la Victoire is an occasion for the French people to attend church services and parades, and sing patriotic songs in parks and streets, foremost of which, of course, is the French national anthem “La Marseillaise”. On this day, too, one will find the Tricolore (the national flag of France) prominently displayed on every home and public building.

The flag, of course, is the most important symbol in any country, signifying that country’s independence. To describe the French national flag, it is fifty percent wider than its height and has three colored bands (blue/white/red) of equal width. In some ceremonies, the flag and emblem of the European Union is also displayed to emphasize that all countries in Europe are united in peace.

While the prevailing mood during this special day is one of merriment, many people likewise use the occasion to remember family members, friends, or other people they know who had been victims of or died during the war. French veterans of the war, who may still be physically capable of rendering public service on this day, do so as part of the celebrations.

Now you can understand why there’s a growing interest in France Holidays. When people start looking for more information about France Holidays, you’ll be in a position to meet their needs.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Beaujolais Nouveau Day And Some Of The Most Famous Nouveaux Wines

When you’re learning about something new, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of relevant information available. This informative article should help you focus on the central points.

A special occasion celebrated in France is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. This occasion is celebrated on the third Thursday of November each year. On this day, wine lovers from around the world rush to France to have a taste of the Beaujolais Nouveau offered for the year.

What is Beaujolais Nouveau?

To begin, there is a region in France named Beaujolais. In this region, a purple-colored variety of grapes known as Gamay is grown. From these grapes are produced the most popular red wine, called Beaujolais Nouveau.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a nouveaux wine (also known as vin de primeur). A nouveux wine is a French wine granted certification under the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (controlled term of origin) to be released and marketed in the same year the grapes it’s made from are harvested. Beaujolais Nouveau is released and sold on the third Thursday of November, which is usually only a few weeks from the time the grapes were harvested. Thus, the day is referred to as Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

Nouveaux wines are distinctively paler in color. This is because of the very short time of maceration and fermentation the products go through. The wines are fruity, light bodied, and may contain some residual sugar.

Besides Beaujolais Nouveau, there are other equally famous nouveux wines. Depending on regulations (which region in France a wine is produced), a nouveaux wine may be red, rose, or white. Below are some of the most famous nouveux wines of France:

1. Anjou wine – White wine produced in the Loire Valley region.

2. Burgundy wine – Red or white wine produced in the Burgundy region. Red Burgundy wines are made from Pinot Noir grapes, while the white ones are from Chardonnay grapes.

3. Côtes de Bourg wine – White wine produced in the Bordeaux region.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there’s more to France Holidays than you may have first thought.

4. Muscadet wine – White wine produced in the Pays de la Loire region.

5. Saumur wine – White or red wine produced in the Loire Valley region. White Saumur wines are made from Chenin Blanc grapes, while the red ones are from Cabernet Franc grapes.

6. Tavel wine – Rose wine produced in the region of Rhône. It is made from either the Cinsault or Grenache grape varieties.

7. Corbières wine – Rose or white wine produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

8. Minervois wine – Red wine made from Carignan grapes grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

9. Bergerac wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in southwest France.

10. Jurançon wine – White wine made from Courbu, Petit Manseng, or Gros Manseng grapes grown in southwest France.

11. Gaillac wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in southwest France.

12. Côtes du Ventoux wine – Red, rose, or white wine produced in the region of Rhône. Red and rose Côtes du Ventoux wines are made from Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvèdre, or Syrah grapes. White Côtes du Ventoux wines are made from Bourboulenc, Clairette, or Grenache Blanc grapes.

Again because of the short processing time Beaujolais Nouveau and the other nouveaux wines go through, it is very likely that these were not exposed to any oak before their release to the market. Labels of all nouveaux wines need to show the words “nouveau” or “primeur” as per regulations.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Eight Public Holidays In France Celebrated On Fixed Dates

So what is France Holidays really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about France Holidays–info you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.

France celebrates a total of thirteen public holidays, or jours feriés, every year. Of these, eight are observed on fixed dates, which include three important religious celebrations. These eight fixed-dated French public holidays are listed below, in the order of their occurrence.

1. Le Jour de l’An (New Year’s Day) – France, like most other countries, celebrates New Year’s Day on January 1, the first day based on the Gregorian calendar. The highlight of activities on this holiday, again like in many countries, takes place at midnight that spans the last day of the old year (December 31) to the first day of the new year. Observance of the New Year lasts up to January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.

2. Fête du Travail (Labor Day) – There probably isn’t a country that does not observe Labor Day, for on this day workers celebrate their social and economic achievements. In France, Labor Day is celebrated in conjunction with the celebration of “Le Jour du Muguet”. In this latter celebration, workers sell “muguet” (lily of the valley) on the streets to raise funds for labor unions. May 1 is the date when France, and almost all countries, celebrates Labor Day.

3. Victoire 1945 (Victory in Europe Day) – This public holiday is celebrated in France on May 8. It is a celebration of the victory of the Allied Powers (of which France was a member) against Nazi Germany that signaled the end of World War II.

4. Fête Nationale (Bastille Day) – This is the National Day of France, which is celebrated on July 14 every year. The celebration is a commemoration of the storming of the medieval fortress and prison known as the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, that paved the way for the rise of modern France.

If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

5. Assomption (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) – Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in France, and the Assomption is one of the most important religious celebrations in this country. This August 15 celebration is an observance of the taking up into Heaven, body and soul, of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

6. Toussaint (All Saints’ Day) – This is another important religious celebration in France, which is observed on November 1 each year. The day is celebrated in honor of all the Saints who are recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Traditionally on this day too, deceased family members and friends are remembered and prayed for.

7. Armistice 1918 (Armistice Day) – This holiday, which is also called Remembrance Day, is celebrated on November 11. It is a commemoration of the signing of the armistice or cessation of hostilities by and between the Allies of World War I and Germany. The event is especially important for France since it was in the French commune of Compiègne where the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Through this momentous event, World War I eventually ended.

8. Noël (Christmas Day) – This is the most joyful religious celebration in France, as it is in many parts of the world. It is celebrated on December 25 in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity. The Christmas season actually is one of the longest holidays in France, which is celebrated beginning on Christmas eve (December 24) up to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 the following year.

In the eastern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, the day after Christmas Day (December 26), which is referred to as the Second Day of Christmas, is also celebrated as a public holiday.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

How Easter (Pâques) Is Celebrated In France

In countries where the predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, no other celebration is perhaps more important than Easter. In France, for instance, where about ninety percent of the people are Roman Catholics, Easter is celebrated with great joy to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.

The celebration of Easter, or Pâques, in France actually begins on the Thursday prior to Good Friday (called Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday). On this day, no peals of church bells are heard in observance of Christ’s death. On Easter morning, church bells come to life once more to celebrate the Resurrection. Every city, town and village in France has a church, so the ringing of bells on Easter morning can be heard almost everywhere. The joyful significance of Pâques is especially evident when people kiss each other the moment they hear the ringing of church bells.

The morning of Pâques finds children waking up in glee, anticipating to find as much of “les oeufs de Pâques” (Easter eggs) as they can, which were hidden in playgrounds, gardens, or right inside homes a day or two before this day. Children are told by their parents of the connection between the church bells that are silent on Maundy Thursday, their ringing again on Easter morning, and the sudden appearance of Easter eggs.

Those of you not familiar with the latest on France Holidays now have at least a basic understanding. But there’s more to come.

The story, as children are made to believe, goes this way: On Maundy Thursday, the chimes of church bells fly to Rome to pay visit to the Pope. They return on Easter morning joyfully ringing to signify their happiness for having seen the Pope. In their desire to share their joy to people, especially to children, they brought with them many beautifully colored eggs as gifts. Some children can get luckier than others – they uncover small chariots, pulled by little white horses, filled with multicolored eggs.

Traditional games played by French kids during Easter involve the use of raw eggs. In one game, children roll their eggs down a slope. The one whose egg survives the roll, or does not break or crack, is the winner. This particular game symbolizes the rolling away of the stone from the tomb of Jesus.

Although most shops are closed in France during holidays, confiseries, or candy shops, are open on Easter to provide delight to people who, regardless of age, feel so much joy just seeing candies and chocolates of all sizes, shapes, and designs. French chocolatiers take pride in their work that they put in so much time and effort to come up with delightful goodies. The results are items that appear more like works of art rather than foods. Everyone in France is sure to enjoy this aspect of Pâques because there is not one village there without a confiserie.

The Easter holidays in France actually fall within the fourth of five sets of school holidays, which is called the printemps, or spring, break. During this period, schools are closed for fifteen days, beginning on Maundy Thursday. Hence, Pâques is an opportunity for French families to be together, whether just at home or on short trips.

Now you can understand why there’s a growing interest in France Holidays. When people start looking for more information about France Holidays, you’ll be in a position to meet their needs.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

Pentecost And Whit Monday In France

You should be able to find several indispensable facts about France Holidays in the following paragraphs. If there’s at least one fact you didn’t know before, imagine the difference it might make.

One of the most important feasts in the Christian liturgical year is the Pentecost. It is celebrated 7 weeks (50 days to be exact) following Easter and falls on the tenth day following Ascension Thursday. Pentecost is also called by other names, such as “Whitsun”, “Whit Sunday”, or “”Whitsuntide”, depending on which country one is in.

In France, Pentecost (Pentecôte in French) is one of religious holidays, which is observed with people attending special church services. Some are baptized (or baptized anew) in churches during this day. French Christians observe on this day the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the followers of Jesus Christ. A tradition followed during the Divine Service is the blowing of trumpets, symbolizing the sound of the wind that accompanied the Holy Spirit’s descent.

Because Pentecôte always falls on a Sunday, most people in France celebrate the holiday like any other Sunday. Some families just stay at home while others go to parks. In any case, family members and friends get together on this day and have special meals.

And as on other Sundays, it is generally quiet in public places in France during Pentecost. Banks, shops, stores, and other businesses are closed on this day. Even those museums that are usually open on a Sunday may likewise be closed on this day.

So far, we’ve uncovered some interesting facts about France Holidays. You may decide that the following information is even more interesting.

The day after Pentecost, France celebrates another public holiday – Lundi de Pentecôte (Pentecost Monday or Whit Monday). This day, however, is not celebrated by the French with the same religious significance as they do the Pentecost. Most people quietly observe the holiday with families and close friends.

Parks and countrysides in France are usually full of people on Whit Monday; they can be seen here enjoying a picnic lunch. In some villages and towns, cultural and sporting events are held on this day.

Actually, France observed Whit Monday as a public holiday until 2005, when it was replaced by another holiday. This was the French government’s way of raising funds to financially support the elderly and those with disabilities, a move conceived after the tragic death of some 15,000 elderly people caused by a heat wave in the summer of 2003.

The French government’s cancellation of Whit Monday as a public holiday meant that workers rendered services on this day with no pay. Their wages were instead collected and used to assist people with disabilities and the elderly. Workers, however, began to air their grievances against this move and held a series of demonstrations to force the government to repeal it. Eventually, Whit Monday was reinstated as a public holiday in 2008, with the government introducing other measures in order to keep its earlier commitment as explained.

Again like during the Pentecost or any other public holiday, Whit Monday in France means a day when public life practically comes to a halt. Almost all businesses, shops, and stores are closed. Some stores in Paris as well as in airports and at railway stations may be open though. Public transport service schedules may also be irregular or different on this day.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

La Journée De Solidarité: French National Day Of Solidarity

In August of 2003, a scorching heat wave swept across Europe, claiming almost 15,000 lives in France alone. Most of the victims were elderly people and some with disabilities. Responding to this momentous tragic event, the French government, by way of a reform, made a commitment to raise money to financially support the elderly and persons with disabilities.

To support this drive, the government made an additional annual allocation of two billion euros for the benefit of the elderly and disabled through the Caisse Nationale de Solidarité Pour l’Autonomie (National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy). This is the first such reform in France, which was presented on November 6, 2003, that is funded not through increased taxes but through the concept of “workers solidarity”.

By this concept, the government has urged the citizens of France, specifically civil servants and employees, to show their support for the reform by rendering an extra day of service without pay. This extra day is referred to as “La Journée De Solidarité” (National Day of Solidarity). The wages that are supposed to be paid to workers on this day will instead be collected and put into the fund.

The selection of the date of the French National Day of Solidarity went through a process that considered the diverse regional and economic conditions of the country. This was necessary to ensure broad participation among workers in both the public and private sectors, thus giving justice to the term “solidarity”.

It was eventually decided that the French National Day of Solidarity be held on the same day as that of one of France’s public holidays – Whit Monday, or the day after Pentecost. This effectively cancelled Whit Monday’s being a public holiday (observed as such for more than a hundred years) and the day was converted into the rather odd status of a “working holiday”.

I trust that what you’ve read so far has been informative. The following section should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.

For the elderly, the significance of this day is that their home life will be improved, retirement homes will be modernized, and medical care will be guaranteed. All these are possible through the more than 1 billion euros expected to be generated from this single day annually.

A separate fund of 800 million euros a year, likewise expected to be generated from the one-day “event”, will be used to aid persons with disabilities and enable them cope with extra expenses as a consequence of their condition.

In 2008, Whit Monday was restored as a public holiday after workers across the country staged a series of demonstrations in protest of the concept by which the French National Day of Solidarity was established (not the purpose for which it was created). Specifically, workers were against the idea of working for a day without being paid for it.

To maintain its commitment of supporting the elderly and the disabled, the French government turned to other fiscal measures. Also, an agreement was reached between and among the government, employers, and employees, significantly modifying the original concept of the reform. Under the agreement, the equivalent of 7 hours of unpaid work can be spread over a period of one week, a month, or even a year.

Today, France celebrates La Journée De Solidarité simultaneous with its observance of Whit Monday, with the day being a public holiday.

This article’s coverage of the information is as complete as it can be today. But you should always leave open the possibility that future research could uncover new facts.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

French Celebration Of L’Assomption De Marie

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated by Catholics throughout the world every year on August 15. The day is a celebration of the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary ascended to Heaven body and soul at the end of her life here on earth.

France, a predominantly Catholic country, celebrates this day (L’Assomption de Marie in French) as one of its public holidays. Churches all over the country hold special celebrations during this day and many people attend church services. In rural areas, village festivals are held.

Activities here may include communal meals, parades, and some sports events. The festivals are attended by a lot of people, especially since L’Assomption de Marie falls within l’ete holidays (summer vacation), the longest of five school breaks in France.

An important place in France on this date is Lourdes, a small market town in southwest France near the country’s border with Spain. The town is famous for the eighteen apparitions witnessed by a 14-year old girl named Marie-Bernarde Soubirous in the grotto of Massabielle between February 11 and July 16 in 1858. The beautiful lady who appeared to Bernadette (the name by which the girl is known around the world) is believed to be the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On August 15 every year, special celebrations are held in Lourdes and many Catholics, not only in France but also from other countries, journey to this place.

If your France Holidays facts are out-of-date, how will that affect your actions and decisions? Make certain you don’t let important France Holidays information slip by you.

Elsewhere in France, the environment is one of inactivity during this day. This is true during any of the public holidays in that country. The general quietness is brought about by the fact that businesses – stores, shops, banks, and even post offices – are closed on this day.

Except in areas frequented by tourists, cafes and restaurants may likewise be closed the day before, during, and the day after the holiday. This is especially so if August 15 happens to fall on a Thursday or a Tuesday. In such a case, France goes on “faire le pont” (long weekend); many companies are closed and their employees are allowed to take the period off. This, however, is not official and government offices and banks are not covered by the practice.

In the capital city of Paris, especially along major highways, some stores may be open on this day. Also, some shops and stores at railways stations and airports may be open to serve the needs of the public. Other local services may be unavailable during the holiday though.

During the celebration of L’Assomption de Marie, church events and parades happen almost everywhere in France, forcing public transport service schedules to be adjusted due to the disruption in traffic such activities is expected to cause.

Overall, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a major occasion in every village and town in France. In many places, the day takes equal importance as that of Easter or Christmas. After all, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been the main patron saint of France since 1638.

There’s no doubt that the topic of France Holidays can be fascinating. If you still have unanswered questions about France Holidays, you may find what you’re looking for in the next article.

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By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

World Music Day: An Event That Began In France

If you have even a passing interest in the topic of France Holidays, then you should take a look at the following information. This enlightening article presents some of the latest news on the subject of France Holidays.

Each year on June 21, the air in France is filled with music of all types. This is the day when Fête de la Musique is celebrated in many places across the country. Fête de la Musique translates to World Music Day, an event introduced by the Ministry for Culture of France in 1982.

This French event is very popular for several reasons. One, participation in the event is free (that is, musicians perform for free and the public can enjoy attending the event without paying any fee). Two, anybody who’s got talent for music (young or old) may join the event. Three, soloists, duets or groups are encouraged to participate. And four, participants can render or perform any kind or type of music. The promotional slogan for the event – “Faites de la musique” (make music) – is apt in this regard.

Another important thing that adds to the popularity of the event is the laxity by which venues are chosen. What this means is that the event may be held almost anywhere – in the streets, inside rooms of public buildings, in parks, at train stations, or even inside historic castles. Of these, the streets of France are the preferred venues of many participants.

The idea behind the launching of Fête de la Musique (and its yearly holding) is to enliven the atmosphere with the liberal expression of all types of music – avant, country, fabulous, hip hop, instrumental, jazz, Latin, pop, techno, and trance. It is an opportunity for people of all ages and from all social backgrounds to communicate through music. Any event of this kind certainly promises a special moment for everyone.

Hopefully the information presented so far has been applicable. You might also want to consider the following:

As the event tends to lure wide participation from among the thousands of amateur and professional musicians in France, so too is its aim of attracting a large audience. Both are possible because people are music lovers by nature, and expressing oneself through music is a great way for releasing one’s inner burdens. Along this line, it must be mentioned here that some of the day’s concerts are held right inside hospitals or prisons to help cheer patients/inmates up even for just a few hours.

Also the event can serve as a conduit for the transfer and exchange of the different styles of music between cities or regions. For this purpose, participation of large music groups (choirs or orchestras) is important and, therefore, encouraged. Likewise, based on past events, young musicians get the chance of meeting noted music talents and learn many things from them.

From France, the World Music Day has spread to cities of other countries. These include Brisbane (Australia), Sulaymaniyah (Iraqi Kurdistan), Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (Israel), Glasgow and Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), and New York City and Cambridge (United States), among others.

The World Music Day celebrations in many cities outside France were initially organized by the French Embassies in those places. Later, local organizers took over and the event’s holding date of June 21 was maintained.

Beyond the usual hours that Fête de la Musique is held, amateur musicians may continue performing in public places. However, French authorities may impose noise restrictions or stop the concerts altogether in areas where the general public may ask that such performances be ended.

Sometimes it’s tough to sort out all the details related to this subject, but I’m positive you’ll have no trouble making sense of the information presented above.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit this new site for my swedish customers: Billigt Webbhotell – from SEK 10:- per month!

The French Festival Of Lights In Lyon

Would you like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about France Holidays? The information in the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge about France Holidays.

Lyon is a city in the east-central portion of France, located between Marseille and the capital city of Paris. On December 8 every year, Lyonnais (the term used to refer to Lyon residents) and those from other towns and cities in France enjoy one of the most awaited French events that take place in Lyon – the Festival of Lights.

The Festival of Lights in Lyon is a century and a half-old tradition, in which Lyonnais honor the Blessed Virgin Mary by placing candle lamps in windows of their homes. The occasion is made special by the fact that it comes very close to the Christmas season (although it really does not have any connection with Christmas), making people feel like the holidays have already set in.

Actually, December 8 was not the intended date of the first holding of this “lighting” ceremony. Based on historical accounts, the religious leaders of Lyon organized in 1850 a statue-making contest. The statue to be made was that of the Virgin Mary, with the winning sculpture to be put up atop the Fourvière hill.

The winning sculpture was scheduled for unveiling a couple years later on the date the birth of the Virgin Mary is observed – September 8. Unfortunately on that day, the Saône river overflowed, flooding the entire area. Because of this, the organizers were forced to move the date of the unveiling ceremony three months later to December 8, which is the Immaculate Conception Day.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there’s more to France Holidays than you may have first thought.

But the story did not end there. To celebrate the unveiling of the new statue, the people had planned to light candles inside their homes. On that rescheduled date, however, an extremely intense storm hit the city, and the ceremony’s date was moved anew four days later to December 12. The storm quickly passed though and in an act of thanksgiving, the people of Lyon proceeded with their planned lighting of candles (note: this was on December 8). They then went out into the streets to celebrate.

Touched by the people’s gesture, religious authorities also decided to light candles inside the chapel of Fourvière. From the streets, a spectacularly lighted view of Lyon can be seen, with the city illuminated from end to end. This event gave birth to the now very popular Festival of Lights in Lyon.

The modern celebration of the event is held for four days, from December 5 to 8. During this period, the whole of Lyon is illuminated through modern lighting techniques. The spectacular view of the city from outside attracts thousands of visitors from the neighboring cities and towns in France as well as from other countries. In fact, finding a hotel room to stay during this period is quite difficult.

Today, the French Festival of Lights in Lyon is not just an occasion for remembering the momentous events that took place more than one hundred fifty years ago in this city as recounted above. It now also serves as a forum for all cities, not just in France but in the whole world, to tackle urban lighting and such other issues related to it.

When word gets around about your command of France Holidays facts, others who need to know about France Holidays will start to actively seek you out.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit this new site for my swedish customers: Billigt Webbhotell – from SEK 10:- per month!

Le Jour De L’An: New Year Celebration In France

When you think about France Holidays, what do you think of first? Which aspects of France Holidays are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

France celebrates New Year on January 1 like many other countries do. The beginning of a new year, which is “le Jour de l’An” in French, is a highly anticipated occasion that is observed with festivities. Among these is the customary holding of a feast, referred to as “le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre”.

The term “la Saint-Sylvestre” actually refers to New Year’s Eve (December 31). Hence, the le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre feast is a grand celebration the French host to mark the closing of an old year and the birth of another. Special dishes, such as foie gras (fattened goose liver), are aplenty during this time; so are various kinds of drinks including the very popular sparkling white wine “champagne” and the equally famous hot wine “vin chaud”. At the stroke of midnight, family members and friends kiss under “le gui” (the mistletoe).

Fireworks are common, especially on the streets of Paris. These have become an important part of the New Year celebration in this city, which is helped a lot by the fact that fireworks are legally sold and bought here.

The celebration can be a simple get-together of family members over dinner or a more extravagant formal gathering of families and friends called “une soiree” (literally, an evening gathering). Traditional activities include exchanging of “les etrennes” (New Year’s gifts) and even of “une bonne resolution” (New Year’s resolutions). People greet each other excitedly on the streets, give greeting cards and other goodies, all meant to usher in a prosperous new year.

Is everything making sense so far? If not, I’m sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.

In Bordeaux and other cities and villages in southwest France, people hear mass in the evening and join the torchlight procession that ends in the vineyards, where people pick grapes and enjoy some mulled wine. In the southern city of Avignon, the famous “Illuminations Tour and Dinner” is a fully-booked activity at this time.

Festivities in the capital city of Paris are held with the participation of thousands of entertainers, singers and dancers. These festivities, actually a two-day parade, go through several streets, proceed through the city’s metropolitan area of Chantilly on December 31, and end at the Champ de Mars (right under the Eiffel Tower) the following day (January 1).

New Year songs are heard all over, such as “Choral des Adieux”, the equivalent of the Scottish poem-turned-folk song “Auld Lang Syne”. Two other songs popularly sung during this occasion are “Toast pour le nouvel An” (“Toast to the New Year”) and “La chanson du Nouvel-An” (“Song of the New Year”).

Taking a cruise has become a popular way of celebrating New Year in France of late. Cruise choices (reservations should be made at least one month before New Year) include tours of the canals and rivers of France, a tour of the northern part of the country on the Seine beginning at Paris and ending at Normandy (this is ideal for couples), or of the southern part on the Saone and Rhone starting at Lyon and terminating at Provence.

The conclusion of all celebrations of le Jour de l’An is on the feast of the Epiphany (January 6). Here, a special cake, called “la galette des rois” (king’s cake) is cut and shared among family members and friends.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit this new site for my swedish customers: Billigt Webbhotell – from SEK 10:- per month!