How to: Celebrate NYE in Paris


A year ago, I was in Paris, France, ringing in 2014. It was my first time doing something different to celebrate the new year, and it has left a lasting impression.

So, whether you find yourself in Paris this New Year’s Eve, or if you’re at home wherever in the world that may be, here is: How to Celebrate NYE in Paris.

  1. Preparation. The whole evening is centered around the dinner table, so the day is usually spent in full prep mode. The menu consisted of somewhere around 5-6 courses, with dessert at the end!
  2. Avoid hangriness. It varies by family, but the dinner is usually set to begin around 8PM, and will last until midnight and beyond. So, if you’re used to early dinner hours, make sure you get a snack in. No one likes to be hangry.
  3. Dress to impress. It is, after all, the French who we’re talking about. If it’s not their food, it’s their fashion.
  4. Greetings. The kiss on both cheeks that the French are also well-known for. Every time someone new arrives, you get up, say hello, and faire la bise.
  5. Bon appétit! The rest of the evening is spent at the dinner table, with the occasional toilet/cigarette/faire la bise break.
  6. Never leave a glass empty. I like to believe this speaks for itself.
  7. Converse!! Being stuck at the dinner table when there’s no conversation = hours of agony. If you’re the sole American like I was, try your hand at the language of love. It proves to be the best ice breaker there is.
  8. Traditions. A lot of families have their own traditions, so if you are ever so lucky to be invited, participate!
  9. The New Year’s countdown. I believe this is a NYE tradition that transcends all cultures. So of course, in France, it’s done in French: dix, neuf, huit, sept, six, cinq, quatre, trois, deux, UN! 
  10. More bises. Individually wish each other a Bonne Année/Happy New Year with kisses on both cheeks, aka les bises.
  11. Ring in the new year. At this point, it is just necessary to make a whole lot of noise.
  12. Dessert. The perfect way to end the evening, and don’t forget to have another glass of your beverage of choice.

Read more about my personal Parisian NYE experience here.