French Language Blog

Christmas Markets in France Posted by on Dec 16, 2010 in Culture, Vocabulary

Après la Hanoukka, la fête des lumières pour la communauté juive (after Hanukkah, the festival of lights for the Jewish community)… I’m really excited for Christmas! The eight nights of Hanukkah are outlasted by the many, many days of réjouissances (festivities) that lead to Noël, or Christmas. The best pre-holiday tradition, au moins en France (at least in France), is les marchés de Noël: Christmas markets!

Les marchés de Noël are found throughout France (and the rest of the world), but le plus célèbre is in Strasbourg. Le marché de Strasbourg, comme tous les marchés, offre des saveurs régionales (local flavors) ainsi que des cadeaux (as well as gifts). L’un de ces saveurs typiques est… le vin chaud!

Vin chaud, or mulled wine, if not actually that delicious (à mon avis) but it is super-festive. This adorable carte des petits plaisirs d’hiver (menu of little winter pleasures) showcases it in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. Check out the rest of the carte—what  are you most excited about this winter? (If you live in a hot place, you should be extra excited about these snowy ideals.)

On peut bien acheter les cadeaux de Noël aux marchés, mais il est parfois difficile de choisir un cadeau. This interactive website guides you to “le cadeau idéal,” the ideal gift, for n’importe qui (anyone), based on answering questions about that person. You might find le cadeau idéal, but I pretty much guarantee you will learn new, useful, current words.  Ecolo? Coquin? Câlin? If you know these already, you’re excused; if not, allez hop!


En parlant des cadeaux… qu’est-ce que vous voulez comme cadeau de Noël? What do you want for Christmas? I would like des vacances (a vacation), une manucure (a manicure), un nouveau sac à main (a new handbag), and a recommendation for a good French movie. Et vous?

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