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French Culture – A Covid Christmas Posted by on Dec 8, 2020 in Culture

Life’s celebrations, the big and small alike, are especially important to the French. I’ve rarely met anyone who takes the art of celebration as seriously … especially Noël. Sadly, this year, due to the on-going Coronavirus pandemic, like many of us, les Français.es are having to rethink les fêtes de fin d’année.

Comment les Français vont fêter Noël cette année ?

As seen in this video, this year’s end of year celebrations are going to be different than in years past. So, how are the French going to celebrate Christmas this year? A recent IFOP study gives us some insights.

Despite the fact that 38% sont opposés à une limitation du nombre de convives1are opposed to a limit on the number of guests and 23% actually say that they ne respecteraient pas une limite du nombre de convives2would not observe/obey a limit on the number of guests, more than twice as many Français.es vont passer le Réveillon du 24 seuls3French are going to spend Christmas eve alone (10% in 2020 vs. just 4% in 2019).

For those who still plan to gather, this year’s dinners are looking to be smaller than in previous years. Of those surveyed only half say that they’re planning to invite d’autres personnes que celles avec lesquelles ils sont confiné.e.s4people outside of those with whom they are quarantining. Gatherings will also be smaller with 5 adultes en moyenne, soit un nombre de convives quasiment deux fois plus faible que l’an dernier5adults on average, or almost half the number as last year, when the average gathering included 9 people.

« Étude Ifop pour Odéro réalisée par questionnaire auto-administré en ligne du 25 au 26 novembre 2020 auprès d’un échantillon de 1549 personnes, représentatif de la population âgée de 18 ans et plus résidant en France métropolitaine.  » / IFOP study for Odéro conducted via on-line survey November 25th and 26th 2020 with a sample audience of 1549 people over 18 years old living in metropolitan France.

Pas de départ … ou du moins, moins …

In the same study, it appears that there will also be fewer vacation trips. A peine plus d’un Français sur dix (11%) ont l’intention de partir pendant les congés de fin d’année6just over 1 in 10 French plan to go away/travel during the year end break 11% compared to 24% in 2019).

The decrease in planned travel might have something to do with the fact that, as of the date of this blog, major European countries are planning to keep les stations de ski (ski resorts) closed for the time being. En France, Italie, et l’Allemagne7In France, Italy, and Germany resorts will be closed while en Espagne, Andorre, Autriche, et en Suisse8in Spain, Andorra, Austria, and Switzerland  resorts are planning to be open, making for a complicated decision process for the French government who says that les Français ne seront pas empêchés de traverser les frontiers, mais appelle au “bon sens”9the French won’t be prevented from crossing borders, but are called on to use “good judgement”.

Et vous?

And you? How are you planning to celebrate les fêtes de fin d’année this year? Share your thoughts for this year … or your favorite memories of holidays in France or other French-speaking countries in the comments below.

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

 

  • 1
    are opposed to a limit on the number of guests
  • 2
    would not observe/obey a limit on the number of guests
  • 3
    French are going to spend Christmas eve alone
  • 4
    people outside of those with whom they are quarantining
  • 5
    adults on average, or almost half the number as last year
  • 6
    just over 1 in 10 French plan to go away/travel during the year end break
  • 7
    In France, Italy, and Germany
  • 8
    in Spain, Andorra, Austria, and Switzerland 
  • 9
    the French won’t be prevented from crossing borders, but are called on to use “good judgement”
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris