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Posted on December 16, 2019

A Guide to French Christmas Traditions

With only days until Christmas, the race is on to finish all things holly and jolly.  In the spirit of giving, we at Le Manhattan Bistro wanted to extend our warmest welcome to you at our holiday table this Christmas Eve to enjoy our special menu with family and friends. 

But before we hang our stockings with care and light the tree, let’s first take a look at the festive traditions of France for the holiday season. 

Advent calendars – les calendriers de l’Avent

While growing in popularity in the United States, children of France look forward to their Advent calendars each year to countdown the holiday season. Many are filled with chocolates and other sweet treats, but advent calendars are also popular among adults looking for a bit of luxury. 

Want to add an advent calendar to your holiday traditions for 2020? Take a look at this lineup of luxurious calendars from Frenchly

French Carols – les chants de Noël

Did you know that each region of France has its own popular Christmas carols? According to French Moments, these carols may be sung at a religious service but also among family and friends. Many French carols may seem familiar to English and German-speaking folks, too.

Saint Nicolas et Père Fouettard

We may have Santa Claus, but children in France have grown up with Saint Nicolas and Père Fouettard. Saint Nicolas is actually who inspired our image of the jolly old man in red. 

But his antithesis, Père Fouettard, is who visits those children who were particularly naughty. Folklore explains that he would whip misbehaving children and is represented as being dressed in all black. 

Today, those of us on the naughty list are familiar with coal in our stockings while the image of Père Fouettard has been exchanged for whimsical elves and reindeer. 

Christmas Eve- le Réveillon de Noël

Christmas Eve is a very big deal in France. French Moments explains that this meal can take upwards of six hours to enjoy and is filled with luxury menu items though specifics vary in each region. While seafood is a big menu item, they also have a tasty dessert item–the Yule log–to conclude the evening.

Want to enjoy French cuisine without the airfare? Come to Le Manhattan Bistro!

Join Our Table This Christmas Eve

Looking to start a new holiday tradition? Why not make Le Manhattan Bistro part of it! Take a seat at our table for Christmas Eve dinner. Chef Jonathan has prepared a special menu for the evening as well as dishes from the French Classics section of our menu. Call 570-901-4040 for reservations! Seatings are available from 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. We too, have a Buche De Noel to make your dinner extra tasty. 

Joyeux Noël from Le Manhattan Bistro!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Le Manhattan Bistro! If you have last-minute gifts to purchase for your loved ones, our gift cards make great presents!

We look forward to serving you at all of our fine establishments:                                        

The Beaumont Inn;

The River Street Jazz Cafe;



Cork Bar & Restaurant;

Le Manhattan Bistro;

Fire and Ice