What are common decorations in France? From Parisian chic to rustic charm, discover the top French décor trends.

When it comes to decorating for the holiday season, France is definitely no stranger to the festive spirit. Here are some common decorations that you can expect to see during Christmas time in France:
  • Christmas lights: Similar to many other countries, Christmas lights add a magical touch to the holiday season. French towns and cities often have beautiful light displays for citizens to enjoy.
  • Christmas trees: No holiday season is complete without a Christmas tree! French homes, businesses and public spaces are often decorated with brightly lit trees.
  • Advent wreaths: These wreaths, known as Couronnes of l’Avent, are a traditional decoration in France. They are usually made from pine and fir tree branches and are hung up on one of the Sundays leading up to Christmas.
  • Nativity scenes: The nativity scene is an important part of Christmas traditions in France. It is often displayed in homes, churches, and even town squares.
  • Mistletoe: Mistletoe is a popular decoration in France. It is customary for people to kiss under the mistletoe during the holiday season!
  • These are just a few examples of the many festive decorations that you can expect to see during Christmas time in France. Contributing to the sense of community and togetherness during the holiday season, these decorations are a beautiful homage to the country’s rich culture and traditions.
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    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 France

    One 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 Homes

    The 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.
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    Fun Fact: In some regions of France, instead of a traditional Christmas tree, a cherrywood pyramid with little shelves is used instead, called Sapin De Noël.

    Public Places Decorated for Christmas in France

    As 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 Companies

    Many 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’Avent

    Another 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.
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    France’s Love for Festive Decorations

    The 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. In 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
    The Christmas season in France is a time for magic, tradition, and beauty. The country pays attention to the details of the decorations, making them festive but maintaining an understated elegance. If you happen to find yourself in France during the Christmas season, take some time to explore the streets, the public places, and the shops, and soak in the ambience and joy of the season.

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