celebrating new year's eve in france

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

otherwise known as la saint sylvestre




known as la saint-sylvestre (or le reveillon du jour de l'an), this is the french new year's eve. it is because the 31st december is the feast day of saint sylvestre in catholic tradition.

traditionally, new year's eve in france kicks off with a glass of champagne and foie gras; each region will celebrate with its own speciality.

their new year's parties range from cosy intimate dinners with friends to 'une soiree dansante' in the form of a grand ball.

once the clock strikes midnight, you make as much noise as possible with shouts of 'bonne annee' or blow into something that makes a noise! if you are with someone special, give them a kiss under the mistletoe 'le gui' at midnight.

the president will normally give a speech on saint sylvestre to describe resolutions for the coming year. this is broadcast around the country for about 20 minutes (similar to the queen's speech in england), and may give an indication of what is to come on the political scene.

millions of french dine out on new years eve and also the next day. it is an eleaborate feast consisting of sometimes as many as 15 courses!

on new years day, the french usually exchange gifts or cards. in fact, you will normally receive a card for new year rather than the traditional christmas card.


wherever you are and however you will be celebrating, 'bonne annee'!



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