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Christmas  -  Christmas in Germany

The children in France put their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts and find candies, toys, sweets hung even on the Christmas tree in the morning. Most of the homes decorate their houses with nativity scenes or Crèches with little clay figurines called 'santons' or little saints during Christmas. These figures are made by the craftsmen from the southern part of France and they also include the figures of local dignitaries along with the Holy Family. The 'santons' are made from the mould that have been passed down since the 17th Century.

The usage of Yule Log has decreased over the years now, but the French make a Yule log shaped cake known as "buche de Nol" means Christmas log. In the Southern part of France people mainly the farmers burn Yule log continuously from the Christmas Eve to the New Year’s Day. They use a part of the log to make the ploughs’ chock. It is believed that this brings good luck and enough harvest in the upcoming year. On the twelfth day there is a custom in the French families to bake a Three Kings Cake where they hide a bean. Whoever gets that bean is considered as the King or Queen for the day. Children search for the Kings so that they get hay as gifts for the camels. On the Christmas Eve, dinner stars after the midnight mass called "réveillon" means Midnight supper. The menu for the feast depends on varied culinary traditions. In Alsaec its goose or duck liver, In Burgrundy its turkey with chestnuts, for the Parisians it is oyster with pat de foie gras. Other dishes are smoked salmon, ham, lobster, salads and much more. For the desserts they have cheese, cakes of different flavors, 'La Buche de Noel' and champagne or wines are serves as the drinks of the season.

Many French families after the dinner and before retiring to bed leave a log burning with foods and drink on the table for Virgin Mary.