Celebrated in France

U.S vs France

France celebrates Christmas quite differently in the United States. French children will place shoes in front of the fireplace in hopes of that Papa Noel will give them gifts. In addition, there is a version of evil Santa Claus, Pere Fouettard who punishes naughty children by spanking them. Another great tradition is when a law passed in 1962, where it is required that all letters written to Santa Claus will be responded with a postcard.


There are many decorations including apples, paper flowers, and ribbons all over houses, offices, and the streets. Mistletoe is hung above houses to symbolize good luck, and a burning candle is left out for the Virgin Mary.

Le Réveillon

Le Réveillon is a feast that occurs during the celebration of Christmas in France. The concept of it derived from symbolic awakening, the birth of Jesus Christ. There are many dishes involved with, with goose, chicken, capon, turkey stuffed with chestnuts, oysters, and a dish similar to white pudding called boudin blanc.


  • La buche de Noel: Log shaped cake made of chocolate and chestnuts, represents the burning of wood from Christmas Eve through New Years
  • Le pain calendal: Loaf of bread, traditionally given to poor people
  • Treize Desserts: a plate of various desserts
  • La Galette des Rios: round cake and distributed to children, and sometimes a game is played with it

La Galette des Rios

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