Santa Claus, Papai Noel, Babbo Natale Are Coming to Town: 5 Christmas Traditions from Around the World

5. France

It makes sense that many of the best French Christmas traditions center around food. After all, this is the country that’s given us brie, steak frites, macarons, and crêpes. Even the traditional Yule log — a massive cherry wood log that’s brought inside on Christmas Eve and burned all day and night — is sprinkled with red wine to impart a delicious aroma to the flames.

The main Christmas meal is eaten in the wee hours of the morning after families get home from Christmas Eve midnight Mass. This meal, called Réveillon, is a huge spread of delicacies ranging from roast goose or turkey to oysters, foie gras, and cheese. For dessert, a chocolate sponge cake decorated to look like a Yule log is the most traditional choice. In regions of France like Provence, the post-midnight Mass meal ends with 13 separate desserts in a specific, traditional order which starts with raisins and ends with nougat, cookies, and other baked goods.



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