Celebrate Christmas in France

Have you decided on where to celebrate the end-of-year festivities? Here are some ideas!

All over France, Christmas is celebrated as a traditional family festival. A lot of possibilities are open to you if you celebrate the end-of-year festivities in the Hexagon: a scintillating Christmas in Paris, the Christmas markets of Alsace, a traditional Christmas in Provence, etc.

A Vosgian Christmas in Vittel

Would you like to celebrate Christmas on the mountain? Why don’t you spend the holidays in Vittel as a family? The city has a Christmas market where you can buy late gifts and explore the stalls in a magical atmosphere. Children can admire the Christmas decorations, small wooden chalets and scintillating Christmas trees with a thousand lights. It is the ideal place for a family Christmas. Discover and enjoy the local dishes and explore the traditions while strolling in a magical atmosphere.

The Saint Nicholas tradition endures here. Children can make small biscuits on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day. This well-known feature of the Christmas tradition is available in numerous Christmas markets. In Vittel, Saint Nicholas Day is marked by an exquisite fireworks display which will surely dazzle the young and old alike! You can go to the nearby Ballon d’Alsace Ski Resort for a getaway experience. With less crowding than alpine ski resorts, this skiable area is suitable for the entire family. It offers activities like skiing, snowshoe hiking, sleighing and much more! If you prefer to enjoy a well-deserved rest after a long hike, the town of Vittel is famous for its spa resort which offers spa and massage services.

Good to know: The origin of Christmas markets

Although Christmas markets started to spread all over France in the 1990s, to the extent that very few city councils do not have them, they originated in Germany and have existed since the 14th Century. During that era, they were called Saint Nicholas markets or "Klausenmärik". In the 15th Century, under the influence of Protestantism, these markets were renamed "Christkindlmarkt" (market of the child Jesus) to fight against the worship of saints. The Christmas market of Strasbourg dates back to 1570, it is the first in France and one of the oldest in Europe (that of Nuremberg dates back to 1628).

Celebrate Christmas with our all-inclusive stays in Vosges or Provence!

Traditional Christmas in Provence

Above all, do you enjoy Christmas traditions? Choose Provence for your end-of-year festivities. You will be amazed by the beautiful cribs and their magnificent "santons" which are often made by craftsmen.

In fact, "santons" or "lei santoun" in Provencal language, is a word which means "little saint". These small figurines made from baked clay are jewels of Provençal craftsmanship and dozens of workshops in Provence make them on a daily basis. You can visit some of these workshops and museums are even dedicated to them in Baux-de-Provence. Your children will be thrilled to discover the fabrication process and may even find some among their gifts on Christmas morning. Another key ceremony is the Midnight Mass and its Christmas hymns, which attract pilgrims from all over the world to some towns.

You will surely enjoy a magical Christmas in France. If you are captivated by Paris - the city of lights, you will love its traditions, ski slopes and recreational activities. You will certainly find the activity that suits you and your children so that you can enjoy a memorable Christmas holiday in France. Profoundly Christmas, isn't it?

Did you know? The story of the 13 desserts

The 13 Desserts of Christmas have been part of Provencal tradition for a very long time but the number 13 is fairly recent. It dates back to 1925, in the early 20th Century. A precise list of these 13 desserts no longer exists because they vary according to regions, cities or families. The list would have continued up to 55! However, the following ingredients may be mentioned: figs, almonds, nuts and dry raisins, hazelnuts, pistachios, nougat, dates, apples, pears, oranges, fougasse, Quince Cheese, watermelon, etc.

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