In France, Christmas is called Noël. This comes from a French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles“, which means “the good news”.
Here in France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. You can also easily find a Nativity scene or crèche, which serves as the focus for the Christmas celebration.
During this holiday you can observe beautifully lit churches and cathedrals, ring out Christmas carols with the church bells.
The whole family gathers together and celebrates with gifts and candy for children, gifts for the poor. On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts from Père Noël. In the morning they also find that sweets, fruit, nuts and small toys have been hung on the tree
It is a must to eat a traditional Yule log-shaped cake called La bûche de Noël (chocolate and chestnuts). The cake, among other food in great abundance such as roast turkey with chestnuts or roast goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and cheeses, is served at Réveillon. In southern France it is common to eat Le pain calendal (Christmas loaf, part of which is traditionally shared with poor people).
The Réveillon is held after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. You can check the schedule of celebrations in Lyon here.
There are many Marchés de Noël (Christmas markets) in Lyon, you can check this web page to find the closest one.
As many of you already know, we are going to have a Christmas Party at the school. Save the date for Thursday 18th of December.
You are more than welcome to share special Christmas dishes from your country with other students.
Last but not least, bring your Christmas spirit with you !
Some useful vocabulary :
Happy holidays! – Joyeuses fêtes ! Meilleurs vœux !
Happy New Year! – Bonne Année !
Happy Saint’s Day! – Bonne fête !
Merry Christmas! – Joyeux Noël !
Seasons greetings! – Joyeux Noël et bonne Année
Have a good Christmas Eve! – Passez un bon Réveillon