New Year’s celebrates the end of the year and the start of a new one. In many places, this is a time for great celebration. Public parties are held in cities all around the world on New Year’s Eve, where people get together to count down to the New Year at midnight.
Different winter holidays have been celebrated for centuries in France. These have turned into the holidays celebrated today, such as Christmas. New Year’s Eve begins on December 31st and is also Saint Sylvestre Day. As such, most locals get together with friends and family to celebrate Saint Sylvestre Day with a feast before transitioning to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Once the clock hits midnight on December 31st, it is officially New Year’s Day and everyone celebrates the beginning of the new year. While parties go on for a while, the afternoon and evening of New Year’s Day is relatively quiet and relaxed. New Year’s Day is about new beginnings and allows everyone a chance to change something about themselves if they so wish.
Celebrating New Year in France
One way New Year’s Day is celebrated is to kiss the one you love under a mistletoe when the clock strikes midnight. This is usually preceded by an evening of partying with friends and family to celebrate one year ending and a new year beginning. The parties go throughout the night and continue into the early hours of the morning.
Parties in France for New Year’s Eve and Day involves a lot of dancing. There is a special type of swing dance that is very popular with everyone. Most parties also have themes and require costumes for the dress code.
Traditional foods served during New Year’s include smoked salmon, oysters, and foie gras.
Gifts are occasionally given between friends and family, but it is considered tradition to give monetary gifts to service workers, such as postal workers and the police.
Tips for Traveling to France during New Years
When traveling on New Year’s Eve and Day, make sure to know what businesses are going to be open if you plan on shopping or eating out. Also check dress codes for any parties you are attending in order to dress accordingly. New Year’s Eve and Day is all about partying with friends and family, so check with them before making any plans because they may have plans set in motion already.