New Year is celebrated on January 1st with great pomp show in France. Earlier, New Year (which was also known as La Saint Sylvestre) was celebrated on the 25th March each year. In the year 1582, the French adopted a reformed calendar and started celebrating New Year on 1st January, like most Westerners. Presently New Year is celebrated till January 6th and the event ends with the ceremonial cutting of a special type of festive cake. The type of cake varies from place to place in France. The occasion is also known as Jour des Étrennes, which is considered as one of the oldest festivals celebrated in the country. People are highly thrilled to bid farewell to the preceding year and welcome the approaching year.
The French call New Year's Eve la Saint-Sylvestre. On this day they host a special New Year feast called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre which consists of customary dishes like pancakes, foie gras (flavored duck or goose) and champagne. French believe this special dinner brings prosperity to the house. New Year in France is mostly a private affair when people like to have dinner with their dear ones and enjoy ball called une soirée dansante. In South Western France, there is a tradition to attend the evening mass and participate in the torchlight procession heading towards the vineyards for mulled wine.
French love to dine with their loved ones on the New Year's day. They celebrate each and every moment with high festive spirit and mood. Along with partying hard, French love the tradition of gift-giving and follow it seriousness. They consider it more auspicious to present gifts on New Year than any other festival. They greet each other with New Year cards, cakes and other auspicious goodies. French Cruises French Cruises have become an ideal option for a gala New Year. People book these cruises a month before the festival. Now-a-days, people have started preferring it more than any other New Year party idea.
One of the famous New Year parades take place in Paris. It is not to be missed 2-day festival. Thousands of performers - singers, dancers and entertainers steal the show. The parade marches through various streets. It mostly goes through Chantilly on 31st December and reach Trocadéro, under the Eiffel Tower on January 1.