#1 PARTY FAVORS
The kids, instead of party blowers, those whistle streamers you blow in to and they unroll as they squeak, the French have little tubes, and chase each other around the house, trying to shoot little soft balls at one another.
They have a traditional meal called Le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, sometimes in intimate settings with a few friends and other times in huge gatherings with live music and parties, it really depends on you taste.
But of course they drink Champagne, the sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France, with the high price tag. I have some in my frigo as I type.
#4 SPECIAL TREATS
Foie Gras, a delicacy translating to fat liver, is an expensive ingredient in many dishes in France. One that makes a nice splurge when ringing in the New Year!
In Canada we kiss under Mistletoe at Christmas, usually when you arrive at a party it is placed under the door frame, hanging above your head. Here it is at New Years parties, and you get kissed at arrival. (The French love to kiss!)
Saint Sylvester was the pope in the 300′s and his feast day falls on December 31st. For some reason it stuck! Even in Hungary we call New Year’s Sylvester!
We picked up a triple layer chocolate cake, white, milk and dark chocolate layers, hand made by a Master Baker, from our local bakery in the square. Bought to share with our new neighbours. New Year’s is a great time to indulge the sweet tooth, and in France they have many different holiday flavors to try.
The most famous, is Bûche, the Yule logs. They come in a wide range of decadent varieties and are a nice way to delight your guests on New Years Eve!
It is not customary to exchanged gifts between adults at Christmas time, but at New Years, you can. We sent out New Years card to family this year, and for the few friends we have made we have dropped off a bottle of sparkling rose and a box of fine chocolates for them to enjoy. A little thank you to the people that have helped us out since arriving in France.
January 1st but as late as January 6th, people get together to talk about their resolutions, and eat celebratory cakes. I like the idea of sharing, hung over, what the next year may bring.
It is 10:00pm, the kids are watching Surf’s Up, and we drink wine as we decide if we can make it up until midnight! Next year I promise myself to have a big party at the new house, and dress up and stay awake.
After a beautiful meal, of roast pork with all the French flavours I could muster, we are full and tired and wish for our beds.
Wait Skype just rang, it’s my mom and brother’s family in 100 Mile, might be able to stay awake after all. I’ll crack the champagne.
Our family has a tradition of going out to play on January 1st. As a family we walk or play soccer, ride bikes or go swimming, our way of starting off on the right foot, by doing something physical. And with who better to hang with than my little family.
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Happy and Safe Travels,
The Hamori Family