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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind French holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1- New Year’s Day.
Like in many other countries, French people celebrate the New Year, or "Nouvel An" in French, on December 31. This celebration is also called "le réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre" or "le réveillon du Jour de l'an". For French people, it’s a special time to be spent among friends, an opportunity to eat a good meal, a time to dance, and of course a time to party until the end of the night.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What do French people traditionally have to do when they pass under a sprig of mistletoe, as well as just after the stroke of midnight on New Years?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In France, people celebrate the coming New year with friends. The celebration takes place at home, or in cafes and restaurants. The most popular places are those close to the Eiffel Tower, or in French, "Tour Eiffel". Restaurants and homes are decorated with banners, or "banderoles", displaying messages that say “Happy New Year.” As soon as night falls, people go and meet to share the last meal of the year, and to also spend the evening together. It’s a good opportunity to take some time and enjoy life.
As you may know, French people are foodies. In order to spend the evening well, they have to eat a sophisticated meal! Supper takes place over several courses. First, there is the "apéritif", when French people drink champagne and give toasts to the health of friends and family. Then they begin to eat, starting with smoked salmon or foie gras on toast. People also eat oysters, meat, or fish. And of course, there has to be a cheese platter! For dessert, French people sometimes eat a log cake. Doesn't all of this make you hungry?
After the meal, French people turn on the TV for the midnight countdown. The most watched show of the night is called "Le plus grand Cabaret du Monde", which can be translated as “The Biggest Cabaret in the World.” It takes place at a theater and features magic, dance, and acrobatic performances. Once midnight has struck, the New Year is here! French people celebrate this moment by throwing paper cotillons. French people also wish a “Happy New Year,” or "Bonne Année", to all of their close relations, so they call all their family members. Then they give each other New Year’s gifts, or "étrennes". In general, these consist of envelopes with money in them.
Did you know? After the New Year, you should make some resolutions! In French, “New Year’s resolution” is "Bonnes résolutions". You need to choose one or more ways in which you’re committed to improving your behavior in the coming year. Losing weight, quitting smoking, or playing more sports are the resolutions chosen most often by French people.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
Do you know what French people traditionally have to do when they pass under a sprig of mistletoe, and at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s?
Custom dictates that French people should kiss under a sprig of mistletoe. This plant is used as an ornament for the holiday season. It symbolizes prosperity and longevity. The legend states that couples who kiss under the mistletoe will be married within the year.
How was this lesson? Did you learn some interesting things?
Listeners, what was your New Year’s resolution?
Please leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

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Monday at 06:30 PM
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Listeners, what was your New year’s resolution?

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:39 PM
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Bonjour Mishra,

Merci à toi pour ton gentil commentaire !

Bonne journée


Team FrenchPod101.com

Srusti Mishra
Friday at 04:05 PM
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Merci beaucoup frenchpod101.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:15 AM
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Bonjour irene briggin !

You can add new words to your Flashcard deck and Word Bank by checking the box next to the word and clicking on the 'Add to Flashcard Deck' or 'Add to Word Bank' button.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Kind regards,


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irene briggin
Monday at 10:11 AM
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How to put the two new words on a list for review?

Monday at 02:00 AM
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Bonjour Martha !

C'est une bonne résolution ! 😄

Bonne année 2019 !

Marie Alice

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Martha Lawrence
Friday at 04:39 PM
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Mon bonne résolution est d’étudier le français tous les jours et de parler avec mes amis français toutes les semaines.

I also want to graduate from FrenchPod101.com Beginner to the next level!

Adieu 2018!

Frenchpod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:45 PM
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Bonjour Lisa et merci pour votre commentaire !

C'es une bonne résolution, importante pour votre santé !

Bonne semaine !

Marie Alice

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Saturday at 08:06 PM
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Bonjour, Marie Alice. Je m'appele Lisa. Je suis russe. Ma bonne résolution est d'arrêter de fumer)

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 07:14 PM
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Bonjour Christa !

Merci pour votre commentaire !

Il faut dire :"Ma bonne résolution est de manger sainement"

sainement = healthy

nourriture = food

A bientôt

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Thursday at 03:50 AM
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Mon bonne resolutions sont manger nourriture.

(My new year's resolution is to eat healthy.)