Christmas Day in France 2024

Until Christmas Day in France are 217 days, ie 7 months and 3 days.

In 2024 Christmas Day in France is on December 25th (wednesday).

Noel: Christmas version of the French

The way that the French celebrate Christmas is in many ways alike to what other nations do, yet people in France give them specific character. Finally, they are the French, unlike any other nation.

Christmas differences between France and the US

There are marked distinctions between the way the people celebrate Christmas in the US and France. While in the US everything seems to be soaked by the atmosphere of the celebrations, and street lamps seem to bend under the weight of the decorations, Christmas in France is being celebrated in a way, that is more subtle. There are Christmas trees here and there, some of them splendidly decorated; especially in public places, which are exposed to multitudes of people. Not everyone decorates the houses, and the amounts of decorations, which are being organized by the city, are not so high. As for the Christmas songs, they are not played all of the time during the season. It is worth noticing, that the French don't have as many national Christmas songs, as the British and inhabitants of the US. In fact, during the season they concentrate on singing church songs.

Midnight masses and greetings

Some years ago people used to send a lot of wishes, using traditional methods. Today, during the era of the internet, this type of communication is not so rampant. In France sending Christmas cards is not so popular as sending greetings, dedicated to the celebrations of the New Year. The way, by which people engage in social interactions besides the celebrations held in the family circle, is to take part in the masses, which are celebrated every year at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Being generous to the people who pass unnoticed

During the Christmas season, people in France pay closer attention to the people who work in the background and make their lives clean, tidy and organized. Garbage collectors, postmen and cleaning ladies receive not only extra attention but also some extra money. it is called "Les Etrennes”. Giving out some money to this kind of worker is no obligation, yet it is a tradition that people in France usually do not breach.


While for someone, which is religious, advent is a serious occasion, for children this time is usually almost entirely soaked in the fabulous atmosphere of Christmas. They await the commemoration of the birth of the Saviour with le Calendrier de l’Avent, which means advent calendar. It is in the form of a rectangle with lots of little windows. Opening it, little ones see the treat, which lies behind the tiny cardboard. Each day is a new treat. This little pleasure usually lasts from the 1st of December till the very day of Christmas.

The Marchés de Noel: famous Christmas markets

The French have strong culinary traditions. it is one of the reasons, that they adore Christmas markets. Those fairs are even interesting to look at. They often consist of wooden stands, which reminds me of the architecture of mountain chalets. The most famous and largest Christmas market in Paris is organized yearly on Les Champs Elysées. The biggest one in France is held in Strasbourg. Those types of fairs are being organized in the country since the XVI century.

Waiting for Pere Noel

Children of France take care of Pere Noel. Before he is supposed to arrive, they fill their shoes with carrots and put them near the hearth. As Pere Noel rides the donkey, he should be glad to receive carrots as he comes. This is the assumption. As it is in the other countries, Pere Noel visits families by the chimney. Contrary to the things he usually does in the US, he leaves presents near the Christmas tree. There is no set date for opening presents. It usually happens after some significant event of the Christmas celebrations, be it Christmas Eve or the midnight mass.

Pere Noel obliged by the state

Little children want to get certain kinds of presents. They know, that when they ask their parents, their demands are not always met. But there is another figure, that may help in the situation, and this is Pere Noel, a French version of Santa Claus. In France, despite his usual business in the season, he always writes back. He is even obliged to do that. In 1962 France passed the law, saying, that whoever would write to Pere Noel, has to receive an answer (a postcard).

Yule log: yesterday and today

There is a pagan tradition, associated with Christmas. Even hundreds of years ago there was a custom of burning the so-called yule log. Yule is the name of pagan celebrations, which were held at the time of Christmas in the northern hemisphere. In today's France people make yule logs from cherry wood and present them in the interiors of their homes. There is also a custom of pouring red wine on it, so it smells wonderful as the log burns. There is an old custom of burning candles beside yule log and leaving some food throughout the night. It was done to cater to the needs of Mary and Joseph, which might have to arrive during the nighttime.

Other years

Day of the weekDateName of holiday
SundayDec 25th, 2022Christmas Day in France 2022
MondayDec 25th, 2023Christmas Day in France 2023
ThursdayDec 25th, 2025Christmas Day in France 2025
FridayDec 25th, 2026Christmas Day in France 2026
SaturdayDec 25th, 2027Christmas Day in France 2027
MondayDec 25th, 2028Christmas Day in France 2028
TuesdayDec 25th, 2029Christmas Day in France 2029

Holidays in the same day in USA

Holidays in the world

Holidays in next days