Christmas scenes from Dinan

 

 

 

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Christmas in France 

This page will be updated over the coming weeks with more and more information.

 

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Traditions | Markets | Shopping

 

From the end of November each year, France really "lights up" for Christmas which is as commercially popular as the Channel Islands and the UK!  In France too, he supermarkets and stores have their Christmas goods prominently on sale, in some cases, from November!  However although the lighting displays are being put in place during November, the big

 

Traditionally Christmas is celebrated with a big feast called le Réveillon  on Christmas Eve which goes on until late into the next morning.  Course after course of wonderful food is on offer.

 

The French version of Christmas cake is la bûche de Noël which is a richly flavoured and beautifully decorated Christmas log and represents the log (Yule log in England) burning from Christmas Day to New Year's Day.

 

Christmas Day is a public holiday however the 26th - St Stephen's Day and Boxing Day in England - is not and the stores are open for business as usual.

 

Christmas traditions encompass much of the English ones including the Christmas tree, kissing under the mistletoe and a special one is the burning of a candle which is lit at midnight and kept going in case the Virgin Mary should go by.

 

 

 

Christmas scene from Dol de Bretagne in Brittany

Christmas DisplayOne of the problems for Channel Island retailers is lack of free floor space which precludes the big animated displays seen in the shopping complexes  in France and England.  These are a delight for younger children and there are plenty on display in the main towns and shopping centres of France. 

 

In Brittany, centres such as Cap Malo outside Rennes have some massive shops full of gifts.  An enormous store selling party accessories is located at Cap Malo.  Apart from selling a huge selection of Christmas decorations, the store caters for all party and festive occasions from hen and stag nights to weddings, birthdays and theme parties.

 

The big cities are particularly spectacularly decorated however some of the smaller towns are quite amazing.

 

Cribs are traditional and some towns even have full size ones on display.

 

 

Christmas Markets Held from late November and throughout December, Christmas Markets vary from small to large and impressive events where arts and craft stalls are mingled in with stands selling food, drink, decorations, gifts and local produce.  These are very social events and provide the chance to share a glass of mulled wine with your neighbours.

 

Click here to download leaflet detailing Christmas Market Dates in Normandy 2012

 

Christmas Market Dates in Brittany 2012

Please do not regard this list as full as there are so many towns in Brittany.  We apologise for any omissions and suggest that you check the dates yourself as we cannot be held responsible for errors.

 

Saturday,

December 1st
Stand at Taden Christmas market

From 2011:

Stall selling Decorations

at Taden Christmas Market

Camaret-sur-Mer
Cesson-Sévigné - all month
Créhen
La Mézière
La Mézière
Lalleu Le Loroux
Médréac
Paimpol
Plobannalec-Lesconil
Ploemeur
Plonévez-Porzay
Plumaudan
St. Guyomard
St. Philibert
Tonquédec
Torcé
Vitré

Sunday

2nd December
Bains-sur-Oust
Beignon
Broons
Châteaubourg
Combourg
Créhen
Férel
Jugon-les-Lacs
Lalleu
Lampaul-Guimiliau
Landéan
Lanhouarneau
Larmor-Baden
Le Trévoux
Meillac
Paimpol
Penvénan
Pleslin-Trigavou
Pleumeleuc
Pleuven
Plobannalec-Lesconil
Ploemeur
Plonévez-Porzay
Plouarzel
Plouégat-Guérand
Plouézoc'h
Plumaudan
Poligné
Pont-Croix
Quimper
St. Michel-en-Grève
St. Michel-en-Grève
Tonquédec
Trégastel
Uzel
Vezin-le-Coquet
Vitré

Saturday

8th December
Santa shopping

Santa does his shopping

at St Suliac Christmas Market

in December 2011

Brest
Carantec
Châteaugiron
Coray

Dinan
Langonnet
Locminé
Merdrignac
Perros-Guirec
Plerguer
Plougastel-Daoulas
Plouégat-Guérand
Ploërmel
Pontrieux
Port-Louis
Quintin
Séné
St. Aubin-d'Aubigné
St. Avé
St. Samson-sur-Rance
St Suliac
Vern-sur-Seiche

Sunday

9th December


Brest
Bénodet
Camors
Carhaix-Plouguer
Châteaugiron
Concarneau
Coray
Corps-Nuds
Crach

Dinan
Domloup
Elliant
Ergué-Gabéric
Guer
Guerlesquin
Irvillac

Langueux
Lanvollon
Lanvollon
Le Gouray
Locminé
Perros-Guirec
Pipriac
Planguenoual
Ploubazlanec
Plougastel-Daoulas
Plouénan
Ploërmel
Pluguffan
Plurien
Pontrieux
Pordic
Port-Launay
Quintin
Rennes Christmas Jumble Sale
Rospez
Séné
St. Alban
St. Aubin-d'Aubigné
St. Avé
St. Gilles
St. Martin-des-Champs
St. Samson-sur-Rance
St Suliac
St. Thual

 

 

Saturday

15th December


Audierne
Brest
Cancale
Chartres-de-Bretagne
Dahouet

Evran
Fréhel
Hennebont
Lamballe
Malansac
Mériadec
Noyal-sur-Vilaine
Pleyben
Plouray
Pontivy
Questembert
Quimper
Roudouallec
St. Benoît-des-Ondes
St. Jacut-de-la-Mer
Sarzeau
St. Évarzec
St Suliac

 


 

Sunday 16th December


Audierne
Brest
Cancale
Chartres-de-Bretagne
Cléden-Cap-Sizun
Collinée
Fréhel
Gourin
Guingamp Jumble Sale
Inguiniel
Lamballe
Lanvallay
Lanvellec
Le Petit-Fougeray
Le Tréhou
Loudéac
Maure-de-Bretagne
Mordelles
Moëlan-sur-Mer
Noyal-Muzillac
Pleumeur-Gautier
Pleyben
Ploubalay
Pontivy
Quimper
St. Benoît-des-Ondes
St. Coulomb
St Suliac
Taden – close to Dinan
Trégunc

Saturday

22nd December


Auray
Brest
Cesson-Sévigné)
Douarnenez
Lizio
Plouguernével
Plémet
St. Pol-de-Léon

Sunday

23rd December


Bohal
Brest
Douarnenez
Erquy
Gouarec
Lannion
Pluvigner

 

Christmas stall at St Suliac Christmas market

 

Christmas Shopping Bargains

 

Remember that buying anything electrical or mechanical to take home to the islands or UK presents its problems should the article malfunction during its guarantee period as obviously items have to be returned to the outlet in France from which they were purchased unless the brand offer a more extensive warranty.  However bargains there certainly are with clothes, household goods, bicycles for children and adults, food stuffs and of course wine. France abounds with gift shops. 

 

Go to our Shopping Page for more information about shops in France