Holiday Traditions of Sending Gifts to France
between March 22 and April 25
between March 22 and April 25
39 days after Easter on Thursday
One may consider it difficult to choose a gift for a Frenchman since people living in France are very refined and are considered to be connoisseurs. This may be a bit of a problem indeed, until you get to know more about French culture and gift giving traditions in France.
It's well known that French people love good quality food, so a gourmet gift basket with fine cheeses and crackers is one of the best gifts for either your business colleagues or friends. For such holidays and events as New Year's Day, Christmas, Easter, All Saints Day, Ascension Day, weddings or birthdays, when families gather together for a big celebration, a gourmet gift basket is the best surprise!
The French are the biggest wine devotees in the world, so the other great choice for a gift to France is a high-quality red wine in addition to a gourmet basket or a separate wine basket. Regardless of the occasion your wine gift to France will be a hit with any recipients, especially with business associates, colleagues, supervisors or others with seniority.
Informal gifts to France for your dear ones, family members, or acquaintances may be of any kind depending on the taste of the recipient. For children, loved ones, or chocolate devotees, a nicely decorated chocolate gift basket is the best gift to send to France. A lovely flower arrangement or a flower basket will add a romantic touch to the gift and will make a great gift to women on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, her wedding day, or birthday. When giving flowers, try to avoid white chrysanthemums and lilies since they are used for funerals, red carnations which symbolize bad will, and yellow flowers because they are regarded as a symbol of infidelity.
When you want to say, "thank you" or "congratulations," and show your love, sympathy, affection, respect, or friendship send a delicious and healthy fruit basket to France. Tea and coffee gift baskets are also classics, given as both informal and formal gifts and gifts to men on New Year's Day, Christmas, Easter, Father's Day, Valentine's, Armistice Day or birthdays.
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Most Celebrated National Holidays
between March 22 and April 25 - Easter Monday
(Lundi de Paques)
August 15 - Assumption Day
Assumption Day in France is a religious festival that celebrates the Virgin Mary's ascent into heaven. The celebration is accompanied by grand firework displays held in the streets.
November 1 - All Saints Day
All Saints Day in France is a Catholic holiday that honors all the saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. It's a day off from work when people go to cemeteries to bring flowers and candles to the graves of passed relatives. Presents are also given to children, usually sweets and toys.
November 11 - Remembrance/Armistice Day
Armistice Day in France is a solemn occasion during which the French remember those who died or were injured in World War I and other wars. Special church services and military parades are held in their honor.
December 25 - Christmas Day
Christmas is among the most important holidays for all Christians. In France it is the time for family reunions, gifts, charity, Midnight Mass, and a Christmas Feast. Although not many French people attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, it is still an important part of the holiday celebrations. It is followed by a big feast, called le Reveillon that may be enjoyed at home, in a restaurant, or at a cafe. On Christmas Eve, French children leave their shoes or sabots (wooden clogs) by the fireplace so that Pere Noel (the French Santa Claus) can fill them with gifts.
January 1 - New Year's
(Jour de l'an)
New Year's Day in France is celebrated on January 1st according to the Gregorian calendar. It's one of the oldest festivals, and is celebrated all over France with great pomp and circumstance. New Year's Day in France is mostly a private holiday when people like to spend time with their close friends and family members, share their New Year's resolutions, and exchange gifts. On New Year's Eve the French host a special feast called le Reveillon de Saint-Sylvestre which consists of traditional dishes like pancakes, foie gras (flavored duck or goose), and champagne. French believe such a special dinner brings prosperity to the house.
February 14 - Valentine's Day
(la Saint Valentin)
Some contend that Valentine's Day originated in pagan times when people celebrated February 14th in honor of the Roman God of Fertility; however others equate the holiday with the feast of St. Valentine. However history declares the origins of the holiday, in the modern day, this holiday is the festival that celebrates love between both lovers and individuals. People wish "Happy Valentine's Day" to parents, teachers, siblings, friends, or any other person special to them. Though there are a wide variety of traditions and customs associated with the festival, the most popular way of celebrating Valentine's Day in France is to express love to sweethearts and dear ones with an exchange of gifts. The most traditional Valentine's Day gifts are fresh flowers, chocolates, and cards.
between March 22 and April 25 - Easter
France, regarded as the sacred cradle of Christianity, celebrates Easter with various religious ceremonies commemorating the rebirth of Jesus, and cultural customs having to do with rabbits, chocolates, and eggs. Easter morning is a happy time for children who look for colorfully decorated Easter eggs hidden in their gardens or backyards. The traditional Easter symbol of France is not an Easter bunny, but bells and fish called 'Poisson d'Avril' (April Fish). The traditional Easter dish is lamb cooked with spring vegetables.
May 1 - Labor Day
(Fete du Travail)
Labor Day in France is a public holiday that celebrates workers' rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones.
May 8 - Victory Day
(la Fete de la Victoire)
Victory Day in France is a holiday commemorating the end of World War II and the French people's freedom from Nazi oppression. On this day French people attend different parades and church services.
2nd Sunday of May - Mother's Day
(Fete des Meres)
During Mother's Day the French take time to celebrate mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds as well the positive contributions that mothers make to society. For millions of women across the world and in France, it is a time of breakfast in bed, family gatherings, flowers, gifts, home-made trinkets, and adorable love notes from children and spouses.
39 days after Easter on Thursday - Ascension Day
Ascension in France is a religious feast that celebrates the salvation of Christ after his death and rebirth. It is one of the most important holidays in the Catholic tradition. On this day, many Christians attend special church services or spend time with family and friends and enjoy the spring weather.
June 3d Sunday - Father's Day
(la Fete des Peres)
Father's Day is a day to honor fathers for everything they have done for their children. The French take this opportunity to express gratitude to their fathers by telling them how much they are loved and appreciated. Generally, children present their fathers with a bouquet of flowers, a greeting card, a gift basket, or a personalized gift. Nowadays, people in France also celebrate this occasion with their grandfathers, fathers-in-law, uncles, stepfathers, or other men who are caring and protective in their lives.
July 14 - Bastille Day
The Bastille was a prison in Paris, best known nowadays because of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which resulted in the end of the monarchy and the establishment of a new French Republic.