Christmastime is all about tradition. And who does tradition better than the meticulous French? In this video from France-based New Zealander Rosie (AKA Not Even French, whose channel proclaims, “If you are interested in French culture, life in Paris, or tales from a New Zealander (kiwi) living a long way from home, please ❤SUBSCRIBE❤ for new videos released each WEDNESDAY! ✌✌)”) 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, who describes herself as a “conqueror of French administration, culture-shock junkie and (very) slowly learning how to hack life in France” 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 ogling the windows outside the Galeries Lafayette, enjoy this charming sampler of French holiday customs this season. You’ll at least get some trivia to impress your co-workers at your annual holiday party.