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Just like everywhere else in the world, Father Christmas (known as Père Noël or Papa Noël in France) brings gifts to children who have been well-behaved on Christmas Day. The sapin de Noël (Christmas tree) is the main decoration in homes, streets, shops, and offices. On le Réveillon (Christmas Eve), children leave a pair of shoes out under the Christmas tree for Father Christmas to bring them presents and fill up their shoes. Unlike in the UK and many other countries, French people tend to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day, although kids do receive their presents from Father Christmas on Christmas Day.
As France is well-known for its cuisine, it’s no surprise that Christmas is a very food orientated affair! The main Christmas meal takes place on the 24th December, and it’s not just a meal, but a feast of several courses. It usually begins with champagne, and is followed by foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon or oysters. Seafood is a very popular choice at Christmas, as well as the famous escargots (snails!), which are served with garlic butter or in puff pastry vol-au-vents.
For the main course, the French often eat turkey served with a chestnut stuffing. As usual, a cheese course follows the main event, and it is of course served with good quality French bread. No French feast would be complete without pastry or something sweet and the typical Christmas dessert is bûche de Noël (Yule log). This is typically made by rolling chocolate sponge with buttercream frosting and decorating it to resemble a log! This French Christmas dinner can often last for hours, so if you’re going to experience a French Christmas this year, get ready to be sat at the table for a few hours (and to get very full)!
This month, we will not focus on a specific grammar point but on vocabulary! We are going to look at greetings in French. Here are the different ways to say “Hi” according to the time of the day and the person you are speaking to. salut hi…Continue Reading
Did you know the French can’t say ‘hedge-hog’ and the English struggle with ‘roi’. Read on to learn more English words the French can’t pronounce and also French words the English can’t pronounce. English tongue-twisters Thorough and Through “fuh-ruh” and “froo” The ‘th’ sound doesn’t exist in French,…Continue Reading
The subject pronouns Tu and Vous can be quite confusing for English speakers when they are first learning French, considering we only have one subject pronoun to mean you in English. However, once you get your head around how to use it, you will see it’s not as difficult as…Continue Reading
PRONUNCIATION There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…Continue Reading