The European country of France celebrates New Year on the day of January 1 of Georgian calendar. New Year day is popularly called as Jour des Étrennes, and le Jour de I’An. New Year day celebrations are referred as ‘Reveillion’.
For the fact, it is counted as amongst the oldest festivals of France, and thus an official public holiday is observed for the day. People in France go and meet their friends and families, to celebrate the special day with mutual solemnity and ecstasy.
A pleasant farewell to the old year and a grand welcome to the New Year is done, with an optimistic hope of success, prosperity, happiness, and peace in the coming time. New Year celebrations begin on New Years’ eve and go on till the 6th January of the New Year. In France, New Year’s Eve is referred as la Saint-Sylvestre.
Traditional Celebrations of New Year in France
On New Year’s Eve, a traditional ceremony is organized in France, as a part of which, a special festive cake with the name of la galette des rois is cut. A special feast, called as le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre is planned, which have traditional dishes such as pancakes and foie gras (flavored duck or goose) on the platter. Also, champagne is served to the visitors. According to French traditions, this special dinner brings in prosperity and good luck to the lives of all those attending the feast. The Southern Western part of France organizes an evening procession, in which masses of people participate. The people participating in the procession sing and dance through the parade, which is headed towards the vinery for mull wine.
Other New Year Celebrations in France
Going on a cruise ride on the occasion of New Year is increasingly becoming popular in France. A cruise ride on the New Year’s Eve, and the idea of welcoming New Year in the middle of an ocean or sea makes it an extraordinary and unforgettable moment for the destined. From the past some time, there has been an ever-increased demand for the same, and it’s hard to get into the list of final cruise riders. The two day New Year’s parade as organized in Paris is another popular celebration, which people die to be a part of. Thousands of local people along with foreign visitors as well as special artists, singers, dancers, and performers march and perform through the procession, which goes through various streets, before ending up at Trocadéro, under the Eiffel Tower.
Private New Year Celebrations
However, New Year celebrations as made out in France are more of a private affair, and less of a social affair. People prefer to have house parties with only close friends and families invited. A special dinner for the day is prepared, and a ball called as une soirée dansante is organized. The evening saw people celebrating and welcoming the New Year with cheerfulness and festive mood. Apart from partying hard, wishes are made, and gifts are shared with near and dear ones. The tradition of gift giving on New Year is considered to be too significant to be given a second thought. It can be a New Year card, special cookies, cakes, or any of the propitious goods.
Tradition of Poisson d’avril
There is another important tradition of Poisson d’avril, a French word which literally means for an April fish. The tradition begins in the post period of the time, when January 1 was officially declared as the New Year’s Day. Since that time, anyone who does not follow the same is considered to be a fool or an April fish. People started planning pranks around them by sending them fake party invitations and New Year presents. In the present time, the tradition has developed as a fun and entertainment time for young children in France.