Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Do you know how French people celebrate New Year's Day? In this lesson, you'll learn some important phrases about the French New Year and some valuable cultural tips.
In French, New Year's day is called...
Nouvel An
[slowly] Nouvel An
On Nouvel An, French people greet each other by saying Bonne année!
(slow) Bonne année!
This means "Happy New Year."
When you meet someone for the first time in the new year, be sure to greet them with this phrase.
French people also celebrate the holiday with special events and customs, with having a party being the most common.
fête
(slow) fête
This means "party."
In France, people celebrate the coming New year with friends. They have parties at home, or in cafes and restaurants. The most popular places to have a party are those closest to the Eiffel Tower, or in French, the "Tour Eiffel." 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.
On this special day, French people have a special meal starting with an apéritif.
(slow) apéritif
This means "appetizer."
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.
Let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned. Listen to the expression and repeat after me.
"New Year's Day"
Nouvel An
* beep
Nouvel An
"Happy New Year!"
Bonne année!
* beep
Bonne année!
"party"
fête
* beep
fête
"appetizer"
apéritif
* beep
apéritif
Well done! [pause] Here's a fun fact!
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?
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.
You just learned how French people celebrate "New Year's Day" and some important facts about the holiday.
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I'll see you next time. A bientôt et merci.

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