New Year in France is better known as Jour des Étrennes. It is celebrated on January 1 (according to the Gregorian Calendar) with great pomp and show. Jour des Étrennes is one of the oldest festivals celebrated all over France. People are highly excited to bid goodbye to the old year and to welcome the coming year. The New Year holidays in France ends on January 6 with the ceremonial cutting of a special type of festive cake called la galette des rois.
The French call New Year's Eve la Saint-Sylvestre. On this day they host a special New Year feast called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre which consists of customary dishes like pancakes, foie gras (flavored duck or goose) and champagne. French believe this special dinner brings prosperity to the house.
New Year in France is mostly a a private affair when people like to have dinner with their dear ones and enjoy ball called une soirée dansante. In South Western France, there is a tradition to attend the evening mass and participate in the torchlight procession heading towards the vineyards for mulled wine.
French love to dine with their loved ones on the New Year's day. They celebrate each and every moment with high festive spirit and mood. Alongwith partying hard, French love the tradition of gift-giving and follow it seriousness. They consider it more auspicious to present gifts on New Year than any other festival. They greet each other with New Year cards, cakes and other auspicious goodies. French Cruises
French Cruises have become an ideal option for a gala New Year. People book these cruises a month before the festival. Now-a-days, people have started preferring it more than any other New Year party idea.
One of the famous New Year parades take place in Paris. It is not to be missed 2-day festival. Thousands of performers - singers, dancers and entertainers steal the show. The parade marches through various streets. It mostly goes through Chantilly on 31st December and reach Trocadéro, under the Eiffel Tower on January 1.
Poisson d' avril means April fish in French. When Charles IX, declared January 1 as the New Year's day, and those who did not follow it as New Year's day were called fools. People started playing prnks on them by sending fake party invitations and gifts. This day has become a part of fun and enjoyment for French children. Now-a-days even shops display pictures of chocolate fish.