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Christmas traditions across France regions

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Christmas is just around the corner!
On this occasion, S.L.Immersion would like to make you discover some Christmas traditions that exist throughout the French regions. A good opportunity to discover the French culture and to learn French in immersion!

Enjoy your reading 🙂


Christmas in Provence

In Provence there is a tradition during the Christmas period since the XXth century. The santons, santoun in Provencal, are used to decorate the cribs. All the emblematic characters of the crib are represented there, the santons are made with the ground of Provence, then they are painted.

Provence is also known for its hearty Christmas meal and its 13 desserts that correspond to the disciples of Jesus during his last meal represented by Leonardo da Vinci in the famous painting The Last Supper.

Christmas in provence

Christmas in Brittany

For the Bretons, Christmas rhymes with Celtic traditions, indeed in Brittany before the midnight mass there is a tradition of wrapping a log and sprinkle it with holy water and salt.

Christmas in Savoie

Santa Claus was not called like that, he was called Father Chalandre. On the occasion of the arrival of Father Chalandre there was the tradition of making doughnuts filled with quince or apple sauce.

Christmas in Savoie

Christmas in Normandy

In Normandy, in the past there was a tradition on Christmas Eve to burn a log in the fireplace, then the oldest member of the family had to put the remains of last year’s log in the fireplace and wait for the presents that would be hidden under the log the next day.

Christmas in the Pyrenees, in the Basque Country

The legend of Olentzero, it is said that he lives in the mountains and makes charcoal, just before Christmas he comes down to give the wood to the inhabitants so that no one suffers from the cold during winter. Still today a mythical figure in the homes during the Christmas period, because the inhabitants dress up as him and also put mannequins looking like him in front of their homes.

Christmas in Alsace

We find the Advent wreath, the Advantskrantz.
These are branches of fir arranged in a circle and decorated like a Christmas tree, there are 4 candles that will be lit on the Sunday before Christmas. This tradition comes from Germany and became popular in Alsace at the beginning of the 20th century.

Christmas in Alsace


To learn French, we offer you the vocabulary of Christmas:

Le sapin de NoëlThe Christmas tree
Le cadeauThe gift
La familleThe family
Le repasThe meal
La dindeThe turkey
La fêteThe party
Une étoileA star
Une décorationA decoration
Une guirlandeA garland
Le père NoëlSanta Claus


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