Dear friends, the rush of Christmas is approaching, with lots of shopping, decoration and family arrangements keeping us busy. While we hope for our fellow travelers that the recent troubles in Paris will soon calm down, we are taking a brighter look at 2019 to start the new year in peace and beauty! My Next Memory covers for you the most exciting activities awaiting you in France in January. And guess what’s big in January? Say hello to Fashion Week and crazy shopping!
Paris Fashion Week
Shiny runways, celebrity paparazzi photos: every January, Paris is the world’s brightest fashion stage. The world’s fashion celebrities, socialites, influencers and media are flocking to the City of Lights to look for the latest trends in Men’s (15th-20th January) and Haute Couture (21st – 24th January) next year. Let Paris become the annual vanity extravaganza this January!
While luxury brand shows are limited to professional participation, there is no shortage of ‘shows’ on the streets that cater to star-seekers appetites, especially around popular venues like the Grand Palais or the Palais de Tokyo. It’s easy to bump into celebrities, supermodels or fashion designers there or into flagship stores of famous brands! Keep your eyes wide open and pay attention to the people passing by. Maybe your idol is wearing the newest season’s clothes and posing in the landmark buildings of Paris.
“Les Soldes” are ON !
In addition to exploring 2019 brand new trends, fashion lovers will also rush to the massive Winter Sales! The annual national sales take place twice a year and have been going on for more than 100 years. Kind of the local equivalent Black Friday it will run for 6-weeks from January 9, with discounts up to 70 percent off! Expect rush of people going to the stores to grab the best items: actually, we recommend you go early, even though the discount on the first weeks are not so big, because the most popular items and sizes will disappear quickly. So now is a good time to start peaking on internet and in shops to spot which bag or clothes you will get during the Sales!
Exhibitions – Go rush to the Museums !
Early January is traditionally the end of the gigantic and iconic exhibitions in all French Museums before the new ones start again in February. So check out your calendars and book online in advance! Major highlights we have talked about such as the Mucha exhibition, Miro paintings, Yves Saint Laurent’s Asia influences, Picasso at the Musee d’Orsay or the beautiful digital projections of the Carrieres de Lumieres will all end during the first or second week of January ! Grab your last seats if you are still in shape after the New Year party!
Local Festival: Epiphany and the “King’s Cake”
A few weeks after Christmas, the Epiphany commemorates the Three Kings arrival all the way from far eastern lands to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Over time, this religious celebration has become a high time for French families with the preparation and eating of the “King’s Cake” or “Galette des Rois”, a delicious cake filled with almond paste. Each Galette hides a pretty bean stone: the lucky one getting the slice with the stone is designated King for a Day ! Traditionally, when cutting and serving the cake, the youngest person present, supposedly the most innocent one, will go under the table to decide of each slice’s attribution so that everybody gets a fair chance of receiving the lucky cake slice!
How do the French do it? New Year Celebration!
New Year Eve is usually the climax of the festive season over-eating and over-drinking. People are full of chocolates, foie gras and Champagne and just want to get a little bit more before going back to work. Unlike Christmas, New Year’s “sleepless nights” are reserved for friendships for French people. On this night, French people traditionally throw parties at home with their friends (choose a hotel and not an AirBnB if you plan to get a good sleep!!) and some will go out for the midnight count down ! The most popular place in Paris is of course the Champs-Elysees, which gets crowded with people from all over the greater Paris region, and many visitors, especially young people. For a more local vibe, we actually recommend you check out smaller neighborhoods like the Marais, Bastille or the Latin Quartier to join the locals for celebration, music and dancing!
We hope this January Agenda will help you in your local France explorations! Contact us for more details or let us know how it goes and keep following us for more Travel advice!