Paris new year eve – Events, holiday celebrations & traditions
Visit the city of lights and love, the paris offers you a grand celebration of new year eve with fireworks, tasty dining at eiffel tower and traditional & cultural attractions.
New Years in Paris is a wonderful affair, and the City of Light is truly one of the special places to be to usher in the New Year. Why You’re Going What could be more magical than ringing in the New Year in Paris? It’s the City of Light, after all, and there’s really no better way to see this city than when it’s all lit up by beautiful holiday decorations. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, wander along the quais of the Seine, and let Paris’ romance sweep you away, if only for a second. If you’re lucky you might even get to enjoy the city all covered in freshly fallen snow.
In Paris New Year’s Eve, known locally as Saint-Sylvestre, is usually celebrated with a feast, le Reveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. Second only to the Bastille Day fireworks and parade on the 14 July, or Quatorze Juillet to the locals, New Years in Paris is a huge celebration. Fireworks and events tend to be concentrated around the iconic Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees areas of the city, although the more traditional fireworks have in recent years been replaced by a spectacular light show.
Cards: Paris people don’t send Christmas cards; they send New Year’s greeting cards instead. So if you are sending cards to folks in France, you don’t have to rush. People in paris continue to wish each other la bonne année throughout the month of January! No interaction is complete in France in the month of January without prefacing it with Meilleurs voeux (Best wishes).
Etrennes: It is a common practice in paris to give gifts of money to people who serve you on a regular basis: the mail carrier, the concierge of your apartment building, your local firemen, even the garbage man (les éboueurs). It’s the equivalent of their 13th month, and the French tend to be quite generous.
Le Réveillon: Christmas Eve dinner is known as le réveillon … and so is New Year’s Eve dinner! To distinguish the two, the celebration on the 31st is called la Saint- Sylvestre, or le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre, simply because the last day of the year happens to be that saint’s feast day. The festive meal is similar to the one shared on Christmas – goose or turkey, oysters, foie gras – with the addition of champagne, bien sûr, and dancing and partying long into the night; it’s at least 4 hours longer, usually longer.
Midnight: At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, expect to receive kisses on both cheeks and a hearty bonne année! Fireworks have been surpressed in the past years, however, due to the dangers, so the evening tends to be a private one amongst friends.
Le Jour de l’An: On New Year’s Day – le jour de l’an – parades fill the streets which you can watch in person, if you don’t mind the cold, or on TV from the comfort of your living room!
Events and things to enjoy
Paris is renowned as being one of the top New Year’s tourist destinations anywhere in the world. Popular destinations across the city include The Moulin Rouge Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Trocadero and Sacre Coeur. Paris is full of bars and clubs that will stay open until the wee hours of New Year’s Eve. Start your night with fireworks at the Champs-Elysees or Montmarte and work your way to nearby Pigalle for a guaranteed party. Another great clubbing spot is the Latin Quarter. Many clubs will have special New Year’s Eve events going on but this may mean higher door covers. Wherever you end up, you can rest assured of a great night and a New Year’s to remember!
The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Montmartre is a popular viewing spot, giving a panoramic view across the city skyline, where you can see any smaller fireworks displays that may be taking place and are only a short walk away from being able to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance too – try the Rue St-Eleuthere for an excellent vantage point. There isn’t an official municipal fireworks show these days, instead there’s a light show at the Eiffel Tower at midnight. There are however smaller, unofficial fireworks across the city and indeed the wider Paris district throughout the evening. New Year’s Eve is also the feast day of Saint Sylvester in France.
Celebrate at Montmartre
If you want to see the fireworks but can’t stand the crowds, make your way to Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur. Although it’s a popular destination, there are still smaller crowds and an unbeatable night view of Paris lit up by fireworks.
New Year’s à la Francaise
When in Paris, celebrate like a Parisian! New Year’s Eve, or St. Sylvestre, is traditionally celebrated by kissing at midnight and toasting with glasses of champagne or white wine. Hot wine (vin chaud) and hard cider are also popular beverages. Foie gras, oysters, and pâtés often make an appearance at both Christmas and New Year’s meals, along with papillotes, popular chocolate treats that open like firecrackers.