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France Christmas Traditions

Christmas is the festival of joy & happiness, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrated as a holiday, season to exchange gifts, for organizing parties, fun with family and decorations.
Christmas in France known as Noel means "the good news" and refers to the gospel. There are many Christmas traditions in France which are being followed up till now.

Children put off their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts from Pere Noel on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve morning, they also find that sweets, fruit, nuts and small toys have been hung on the tree.

Every home in France displays a Nativity scene or creche on Christmas. The creche is often occupied with little clay figures called santons or "little saints." Shepherds and Magi, the craftsmen also create figures in the form of local dignitaries and characters.

The craftsmanship concerned in creating the gaily colored santons is quite surprising and the molds have been passed from generation to generation since the seventeenth century. The French make a traditional Yule log-shaped cake, the buche de Nol, which means "Christmas Log."

The cake, among other food in great plenty is served at the grand feast of the season, which is called le reveillon. Le reveillon is a supper held after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The menu for the meal varies according to France Christmas food traditions. Goose is the main course in Alsace, in Burgundy it is turkey with chestnuts and the Parisians feast upon oysters and pat de foie gras. Le Revellion may have of poultry, ham, salads, cake, fruit and wine.

When dinner and gifts exchange is over and the families have retired to bed, they leave a fire burning and food and drink on the table. They enjoy their Christmas in their own ways.