France is Getting Ready For Le Père Noël

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On both sides of the Atlantic, a lot of people are getting ready for Christmas. And yes… there are cultural differences!

In Canada, most of the action seems to take place at home or in the malls. Malls are where people browse, shop, have their pictures taken with Santa and enjoy a bit of the ”holiday spirit” with seasonal products and decorations. Some houses have an impressive display of Christmas cheer, with huge inflatable Santas, Rudolph or holiday lights. And of course, Christmas music plays everywhere—ad nauseam.

We did the traditional Santa pic with Mark in Ottawa, before we left:

 

 

In Nantes, the action is—surprisingly, consideing it’s not a tropical country!—outdoor. There are a lot of Christmas lights in the street, especially the pedestrian ones. Most stores have at least one Christmas tree complete with lights and decorations on display, and windows revolve around the holidays. No Christmas music though and people seem to focus on Christmas trees rather than Santa.

Marchés de Noël seem to be a huge hit. These street markets are originally from Germany and border regions in France but are now popular in Brittany as well. The small stalls sell everything Christmas-related, such as seasonal food (gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, etc.) as well as various specialties from all over the country (cheese from Savoie, saucisson from Corsica, cannelés from Bordeau, flammenkuche from Alsace, etc.), ”fun fair” food (cotton candy, Nutella waffle, churros, etc.) and crafty trinkets. The first time I walked by the marché de Noël place Royale in Nantes, I found it sweet to see so many people drinking hot chocolate—then I realized they were not drinking cocoa but downing hot wine. Ah, Brittany… people sure like booze!

Mark, who absolutely love Christmas trees, is in heaven. He marvels at everything and stops whenever he spots something shiny. Yes, getting around takes a while, unless I put him in the stroller!

You can see the complete set of pictures on Flickr.

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

Christmas Market in Nantes

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Christmas Lights | Correr Es Mi Destino

  2. The market in Nantes looks really pretty! Those cuddly gingerbread men seem to be everywhere, but we had to look really hard to find the vin chaud at the market in Boulogne last week.

  3. Pingback: People of Nantes, Winter Edition | Correr Es Mi Destino

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