Tag Archives: French Christmas traditions

Les treize desserts

I love dessert. I’m fully in agreement with the slogan, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” So once again, I think the French have got things just right with les treize desserts (lay trez daysehr), or the thirteen desserts. This … Continue reading

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Petit papa Noël

I have been writing about French Christmas carols. So far, I’ve been focusing on traditional, religious carols, many centuries old. But French Christmas music includes several of the Santa-snowman-elves variety too. One of the sweetest ones is “Petit Papa Noël.” … Continue reading

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Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle

Today I’m doing another installment on my series about French Christmas carols with “Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle,” a traditional sixteenth century Provençal favorite. To In English, it appeared on the scene in the 18th century as “Bring a torch, Jeanette, … Continue reading

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Quelle est cette odeur agréable

Lately, I’ve been presenting some traditional French carols. Today’s Christmas carol, Quelle est cette odeur agréable (kel eh set odur a-gray-a-bluh), dates to the 17th century. It has been translated in English as Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing? I’d … Continue reading

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Fête des Lumières

Lyon’s Fête des Lumières (fet day loom-e-air), or Festival of Lights, is an annual event that takes place in early December. For 2012, the dates are December 6 through 9. It’s not a Christmas event at all, but the proximity … Continue reading

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Onomatopée

Today’s French carol, Patapan, was written by Bernard de La Monnoye in 1720. It wasn’t originally written in French at all, but rather in the Burgundian dialect, which bears only a passing relationship to the language of Molière. It’s kind … Continue reading

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Noël nouvelet

I’d never before heard the Christmas Carol Noël nouvelet before I started researching this post. I don’t think I’ll soon forget its haunting melody, however.  Nouvelet doesn’t exist anymore, but it’s related to the word nouvel, the form of the … Continue reading

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