St. Nicholas leaves his mark at MHS French Club Gathering

One of the best parts of the MHS language program is that it gives students a chance to explore different cultures and ways of life found all over the world.
According to club supervisor Gheisha Rodriguez, the French Club is an “outlet for cultural activities that we can’t do in class.” This includes the club’s upcoming holiday celebrations.
During the parties, members of the club can learn about and try traditional French foods typically eaten during winter holidays such as Christmas, Candlemas, and Three Kings’ Day.
According to French tradition, Christmas celebrations begin on December 6th, Saint Nicholas’ feast day. This day is celebrated with parades, as well as children putting their shoes in front of the fireplace for Saint Nicholas to leave presents for them.
French families also set up la crèche, a large clay nativity and village, which stays in the house until February 2nd. On Christmas Eve at midnight, families enjoy the Réveillon de Noёl, a large dinner to celebrate the very beginning of Christmas.
The French Club enjoyed French food at their holiday party on Thursday, December 14th. French students and teachers brought in a variety of snacks, including croissants, macarons, homemade crêpes, éclairs, French cookies, and truffles.
“We’ll prepare for the parties by buying more food,” Ms. Rodriguez said.
Three Kings’ Day, which is on January 6th, celebrates the three kings who brought gifts to Jesus. The French celebrate the holiday by eating galette des rois, or Kings’ cake. It is a puff pastry that contains a small plastic king. Whoever gets the slice with the king in it gets to wear a paper crown for the rest of the day.
“We’re going to make a galette des rois and maybe have a movie night,” Ms. Rodriguez said.
Candlemas marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day of the year and the spring equinox. The French tradition is to eat crêpes, which represent the sun and the warmth of spring. Ms. Rodriguez said that the club is planning on having more homemade crepes for the celebration of the holiday, which is on February 2nd.
“Our goal is to expose the community to the cultures of French-speaking countries,” said Ms. Rodriguez. You can follow the French Club and French Honors Society’s activities on the Massapequa French Life Facebook page.

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