La Saint-Sylvestre

As today is New Year’s Eve I thought I’d look at what this day is called in various languages:

French:la (fête de) Saint-Sylvestre, which is celebrated with le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, a feast which well involve champagne and foie gras, and a party, with kisses under the mistletoe at midnight. Saint Sylvestre was Pope between 314 to 335 AD and his feast day happens to be on 31st December. [source].

German: Silvester or Silvesterabend, which is celebrated with parties and fireworks, and/or by watching the 1920s British film Dinner for One [sources].

Spanish: la Noche Vieja, which is celebrated with parties and by eating 12 grapes for each of the 12 chimes of midnight [source].

Welsh: Nos Galan (“night of the calend”), which is celebrated with parties and fireworks, and there’s a tradition of giving gifts and money, or these days bread and cheese on New Year’s Day [source].

There are more details of New Year traditions on Wikipedia.

How do you celebrate new year?

Happy New Year, by the way.

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This entry was posted in English, French, German, Language, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases.

2 Responses to La Saint-Sylvestre

  1. Jim Morrison says:

    In Catalan, new year’s eve is sometimes referred to as:
    “El dia de l’home dels nassos” – “The day of the man of the noses”.
    This man only appears on new year’s eve and has as many noses as there are days left in the year!!!

  2. Kirsten says:

    Thanks. I always wondered why it was called “Saint-Sylvestre”. Sylvestre must have been quite a pope to inspire drinking, foie-gras and kisses!