What Are Common Decorations in France During Christmas Season?Christmas is a season of joy and celebration, and France doesn’t fall behind in commemorating it. Throughout the country, you can see the streets decorated in a festive way, filled with lights, and Christmas trees erected everywhere. The homes, businesses, and public places are adorned with the traditional French Yuletide decorations. In this article, we’ll explore the common Christmas decorations in France and their meanings.
Christmas Lights in FranceOne common decoration in France, similar to other countries, is the use of Christmas lights. In the main streets of French towns and cities, you can see stunning light displays. The display designs vary greatly, from simple to elaborate light arrangements, featuring all sorts of shapes and sizes. Many of the light displays in France feature the color used traditionally in French flags, blue, white, and red. Tourists and locals alike marvel at the displays, enjoying the sights and colors of the Christmas season. Important Note: Paris is particularly famous for its Christmas lights. The city is transformed into a wonderland and presents unique and visually stunning illumination all season long, especially on the iconic Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Christmas Trees in French HomesThe tradition of Christmas trees in France dates back to the early 1800s. The first-ever decorated Christmas trees in France were installed by the Duchess Helene of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Since then, the tradition has become increasingly popular in the country. Many French homes have a Christmas tree as a centerpiece throughout the holidays. The French don’t decorate their Christmas trees in the same way as the Germans or the Americans; they keep it simple. They tend to use fewer ornaments but opt for more traditional elements, like a star on the top or a natural garland. Many French families also include nativity scenes in their holiday decorations.
Public Places Decorated for Christmas in FranceAs expected, during the Christmas season, French public places like town halls, tourist attractions, and city centers are fully decorated. Tourists often visit iconic sights like Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs-Élysées during this festive season. Additionally, many towns and cities have traditional Christmas markets where people sell holiday gifts, food, and drinks. Pro Tip: The town of Riquewihr in Alsace is famous for its Christmas markets and decorations.
Christmas Decorations in French CompaniesMany French companies embrace the Christmas spirit by decorating their offices and buildings with Christmas decorations. They often feature Christmas trees and wreaths made from natural materials like holly, pinecones, and evergreen branches. Some French businesses also contribute to local charities as part of their Christmas celebrations. Fun Fact: The biggest Christmas tree in France was erected in 2016 at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. The tree was over 20 meters tall and featured more than 10,000 Christmas lights.
French Couronnes of l’AventAnother popular Christmas decoration in France is the Advent wreath. The wreaths, known locally as Couronnes of l’Avent, are created using fir tree branches, sometimes with other types of greenery and berries added in for decoration. The wreath also features four candles representing each Sunday of Advent. Historical Fact: The tradition of the Advent wreath has German roots and was created in the 1830s by Johann Hinrich Wichern.
France’s Love for Festive DecorationsThe French people have a particular passion for festive decorations. There is a certain elegance and simplicity in their decorations, which is reflective of their culture. The streets, homes, and public places during the Yuletide season all show the beauty and wonder of Christmas in France.
Popular Christmas Decorations in French CultureIn summary, here are the most popular Christmas decorations in France:
- Christmas lights- usually blue, white, and red
- Christmas trees- decorated using natural elements, often with a star on top
- Advent wreaths (Couronnes of l’Avent)- created using fir tree branches
- Nativity scenes
- Christmas markets- where traditional gifts, food, and drinks are sold