French Traditions and Culture
France boasts a rich cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity.
Each of the 22 French administrative regions has its own identity as France has a long history of invasions.
Various ethnic groups have superimposed their cultures, traditions and beliefs but have locally retained their ancestral heritage.
The dialects, the hair, eyes and skin colours vary from North to South and East to West and remind us that France is a huge melting pot.
French are primarily Roman Catholic but a mere 20% of the population practise.
A vast majority of them, however, are deeply attached to their religious traditions and celebrations.
They will not miss Christmas, Easter or Mardi Gras as these happy celebrations are always fantastic opportunities for great fun, great food and great family gatherings.
They love celebrating Love at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Father’s day, and have recently adopted the tradition of placing love locks on the bridges of Paris.
They can tell you the list and the meaning of all their Public Holidays that rule their lives.
French are very proud of their language, which they consider as the language of Love and Romance and the ultimate ‘langue diplomatique’.
They know that their Cuisine is considered one of the best in the world, if not the best!
They enjoy showing off their knowledge of their 500 different types of cheese, which they eat with a freshly baked baguette after their ‘escargots’ and ‘cuisses de grenouille’.
They can’t stop talking about France’s architectural patrimony, magnificent chateaux, ‘demeures de style’, hôtels particuliers’, ‘fermettes Normandes’ or charming ‘pied-à-terre’.
They know that the world is flocking to Paris for its Haute Couture and Haute Joaillerie.
They also know that people come for the major tourist sites and ‘bien sûr’ for a romantic diner in Montmartre or a ‘café crème’ in the Deux Magots…
But French will also tell you that France is about simple pleasures such as market day in a picturesque town of province.
Food stalls crumbling under mountains of fruits and vegetables…
The divine aroma of freshly brewed coffee at the terrace of a café…
All these little ‘ je ne sais quoi” that make French traditions and culture what they are…