We had two friends over from the Netherlands to celebrate new years eve. So when it turned midnight we went over to a terrace from which you can view all of Paris in Saint Germain en Laye.
We opened our bottle of champagne at midnight and turned to the view of paris full expectation. Then…. NOTHING (well, almost nothing). We didn’t expect fireworks like in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands this year 65 million euro was spent on fireworks , nothing here.
Then we went back home and went out to say happy new year to your neighbors (also a custom in the Netherlands). When we knocked the door at the first house they we very surprised but we were invited in. We brought “oliebollen” and “appelflappen” which were happily received.
However when we came in and started wishing everyone happy new year something happened. In France it is customer to give the “bisou” here which is a kiss on each cheek. We have also experienced this with social gathering where you meet people the first time.
However to our surprise men kiss eachother as well for importen events like new year’s. It is custom here to “fair le bis” amongst men here with close friends and for example next relatives. This was nothing extremely new here for me because I had seen it happen before. So I “fair la bise” with all the men present in the room. But you can imagine that to someone not accustomed to living here this is a real “new concept of a French kiss”.