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Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris

The lights are sparkling on rues all over the city. Chestnuts, or marrons, are in almost every pastisserie and boulangerie across town. And department stores like Le Bon Marché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette have put their most magnificent trees on display.

We aren't heading home for the holidays, but you can certainly feel the Christmas spirit everywhere you go. It's also been quite interesting to see the cultural differences of how they celebrate Christmas in France. A few observations...

  • Sapins de Noel, or Christmas trees, come with their own personal stands, a bûche. There is no way to water them, but after a bit of online research, we found out that they don't necessarily need it.
  • Chesnuts abound during the holiday season! We roasted our own, tried a marron glacée (candied chesnut) from a patisserie and found my personal favorite form of chestnut, Pain aux Marrons, at the Eric Kayser bakery.
  • The best part of the Christmas market on Champs Elysées was drinking vin chaud and eating a bit of street food (tartiflette), not the shopping. We also discovered that cotton candy is called barbe à papa (translation: daddy's beard) in French. Weird.
  • Oysters, foie gras, and champagne are other holiday specialities. You see oyster stands on practically every street. The other day at Marché Bastille, Steve and I had one each and after the oyster, they filled up our shell with white wine. An unexpected finish!

And if you're curious, here are a few pictures of Paris during the holiday season. Enjoy!


Merry Christmas everyone!


Vocab for today:

  • Noël - Christmas
  • sapins de Noël - Christmas trees
  • Bonne fête - Happy Holidays!
  • les marrons - chesnuts
  • les huîtres - oysters
  • barbe à papa - cotton candy
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