The Pre-Christmas Program V

photo: xmas trees
One day is deep grey and the next blazing with sunlight.

The Circus Is In Town!

Paris:- Friday, 4. December 1998:- My own M-R has come back from seeing 'Moscow On Ice' and said the bears were excellent skaters. This show is half circus and half fancy ice-skating - trapeze acts on skates? - and trained monkeys too, in addition to clowns. Or maybe they are clowns dressed as monkeys? Until Sunday, 3. January, on the Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes. Métro: Porte Dorée or Porte de Charenton. Info. Tel.: 01 49 87 32 32.

Pinder is the biggest circus, with a tent that can hold 4,500 spectators. Circus puro, with elephants and tigers, music and lights; and prices starting at a low 65 francs. Same date and location as above: the Pelouse de Reuilly. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Arlette Gruss - who is the daughter of Alexis Gruss, is supposed to have the 'most beautiful' circus; trying to be as big as Pinder, butphoto: mairie decor more sophisticated, more 'artistic.' And this is with two fake Opéra dancers, who get into heavyweight boxing, wearing tutus! Same location as above, but until Sunday, 20 December: the Pelouse de Reuilly. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 22 62.

Alexis Gruss - is Arlette's father and he goes for 'classic' circus, elegant circus, circus with non-stop costumes and the main acts are done by dancing horses and lesser acts have lots of trained animals too. Until Sunday, 7. March; on the Pelouse de Madrid, in the Bois de Boulogne. Métro: Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 96 22.

Trapeze At Villette - The 'Arts Sauts Company' has reinvented the trapeze in a new imaginary aerial space, one that will give you an urge to fly higher than usual too. Until Sunday, 17. January, at La Villette. Call for exact location: Info. Tel.: 08 03 07 50 75.

Two Rudolf Nureyevs or None

Although a bit misleading, there's nothing better than to celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of next than with two ballets choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev.

'La Bayadère' is at the new Opéra Bastille and 'Don Quichotte' is at the splendid Opéra Garnier, which everybody simply calls, 'the Opéra.' The first, from Monday, 7. December until Sunday, 16. January and the second, from Thursday, 24. December until Friday, 15. January.
Opéra Bastille and Opéra Garnier; one Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68. Métros: Opéra and Bastille.

Sunday Shopping

All of the 'Grands Magazins,' which includes Samaritaine, BHV-Rivoli, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and Bon Marché, will be also be open on the first three Sundays in December. This will extend weekend shopping hours, allowing Samaritaine, for example, to serve an extra 60,000 customers.

This year's Christmas program is below, and below it are the references to Metropole's own past seasonal features.

Events, Displays

Christmas Lights - Paris' Quarters:

From mid-November to January 1999:

Rue Royal - Opéra Quarter
Avenue Montaigne - from 15. November to 5. January
Champs-Elysées - from 26. November to 11. January
Avenue Vendôme - from 30. November to 5. January
Rue de la Paix - from 30. November to 5. January
Faubourg Saint-Honoré - from 1. December to 3. January

Hôtel de Ville Skating Rink - Patinoire - Eisbahn:

Place de la Hôtel de Ville: Christmas decor, with two merry-go-rounds at either end of ice-skating rink. No charge. Ice-skate rentals. From Tuesday, 15. December until 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Giant Ferris Wheel - Grande Roue - Riesenrad:

Place de la Concorde, Tuileries side. Panoramic view from the top. From 19. December until 3. January. Daily from 10:30 until 19:30.

Merry-go-rounds - Les Maneges de Noël - Karussel:

Two at the Hôtel de Ville, from 19. December to 3. January; daily from 10:30 to 19:30. No charge. Others located in most other Paris arrondissements.

Christmas Windows - Vitrines de Noël - Schaufenstern:

Bon Marché, Rive Gauche, 'Peau d'Ane;' at Galeries Lafayette, 'Le Ciel de Noël de Christian Lacroix;' La Samaritaine, 'Le Chocolat dans tous ses Eclats' and at Printemps, 'Basile, Jouet 'Fetische.'' From November to January 1999.

Christmas Mangers - Crèches - Krippen:

Noêl aux 5 Continents:

From the four corners of the world, 120 crèches representing voyages full of fantasy. At the Forum des Halles, 1 and 3, Grand Balcon, level -1. From 10:00 to 19:30 daily. Closed Sundays except for 6, 13 and 20. December. Open from 28. November to 2. January.

photo: xmas wreath 2

La Crèche du Vieux Paris:

Find yourself in the Christmas of medieval Paris as if it were 1491. Notre Dame is finally finished, shops and houses on the bridges; apothecaries, barrel makers -with more than 400 actors, some of them robots, in period costumes to animate this replica of another time. With narration by Jean-Pierre Coffe. In a heated circus tent at the place du Palais-Royal; daily from 10:00 to 20:00. Starts Friday 4. December and continues until 4. January. Reservations possible: Info. Tel.: 01 40 21 40 21.

La Crèche de Notre-Dame de Paris:

Inside a big tent, errected on the place in front of the church; entry from the church side. Daily from 10:00 to 19:30; on Tuesdays until 22:30. Daily from 5. December to 3. January. Entry charge: 35 francs; under 12 years, 25 francs.

Christmas Markets - Marchés de Noël - Weihnachtsmarkt:

La Foire Saint-Nicolas:

'L'Atelier du Père-Noël en 40 Chalets' - From all of France and all the continents, the Christmas decorations of artisans from around the world. Place de la Bourse, Paris 2. Starts Tuesday, 17. November, until Sunday, 6. December. From 10:00 to 19:30, on Thursdays until 21:00.

Marché de Noël - Champs-Elysées:

Exhibition - market organized with traditional handcrafted items and products from Alsace, including decorations, breads and spices. 'Avent crowns.' From 28. November to 24. December; daily from 11:00 to 19:00; until 17:00 on 24. December. Maison d'Alsace, 39. avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8.

Christmas Markets - continued:

Marché de Noël - Parc Floral:

Also from all of France and all the continents, 250 stands with thousands of gifts on offer; 'living' crèche with panorama of animals, musicians, and with a children's choir performing carols. 'Pagno' miniature Noël village with dozens of houses; populated by over 100 'santons' from Provence. With clowns and mimes.

Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. On Friday, 4. December, from 14:00 to 22:00; Saturday, 5. December, from 10:00 to 22:00; and Sunday, 6. December, from 10:00 to 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 43 43 92 95.

Alsatian Noël At Gare de l'Est:

Reconstitution of two Alsatian villages, with timbered houses. Specialty food products from the region along with typical Christmas decorations, and Christmas trees crowned with stars; plus music boxes and Alsatian Chrristmas books. Saint-Nicolas gives goodies to the kids on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 19:00.

Gare de l'Est, suburban and long-distance train halls, Paris 10. From Tuesday, 6. December until Saturday, 19. December; daily from 9:00 to 20:00.

Gare Saint-Lazare:

There is a 'Marché de Noël' situated in ticket hall of this major train station, at the same level as the train quais. At this time, no details of dates or times are available for it - only the photo at the top of the page.

Christmas Concerts:

Ensemble Olivier Opdebeeck with the vocal ensemble of Cori Spezzati, directed by Olivier Opdebeeck: Legrenzi's 'Christmas Vespers of Venice,' featuring original works. At the Saint-Louis des Invalides church, 2. avenue de Tourville, Paris 7. On Thursday, 10. December, at 20:30.

The Children's Choir of L'Ecole Sainte-Marie d'Antony, sing Noël under the direction of Père Giraud, with Georges Bassonnet on the organ. At the Saint- Germain-des-Prés church, 6. place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris 6. Performance on Tuesday, 22. December at 20:30.

Concertsolo - by the Choir of the Russian Patriarch. 'Un Noël à Moscou' features ancient orthodox chants, liturgical choir and traditional Russian chants. Direction by Anatoly Grindenko. At the Saint-Louis-en-L'Ile church, 19 bis, rue Saint-Louis-en-L'Ile, Paris 4. On 25, 27. December and 1. January at 17:00 and on 26, 28. and 31. December at 20:45.

Candlelight Christmas Concert - featuring the Alegria Ensemble, performing 'Les Plus Beaux Noël au Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance.' At the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre church, 23. quai de Montbello, Paris 5. On Sunday, 26. December, at 21:00.

Christmas Masses

Midnight Mass - with the participation of artists from the world of showbusiness; the 'Masters of Paris,' under the direction of Patrick Marco. At the Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. On Thursday, 24. December, at 23:30. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10.

Christmas Mass at Notre Dame - Thursday, 24. December, Mass of the Vigil at 18:30, 'Eve of Noël' about 21:00 and Midnight Mass at 24:00. On Christmas Day, 25. December, there will be masses at 8:00, 8:45, 10:00, 11:30, and possibly one at 12:30, and at 18:30.

Festival d'Art Sacré: - 'Les Femmes et le Sacré' is the subtitle of this series of concerts with singers, which begins Thursday, 19. November and continues to a midnight mass on Thursday, 24. December, with the Moscow Ice Circus, at their location on the Pelouse de Reuilly. Métro: Porte Dorée.

Reservations can be made by writing to the 'Festival d'Art Sacré,' 14. rue de Madrid, 75008 Paris. Tickets are also available at fnac and the Virgin Megastore. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10. The program is a big one, and you might find details for it on Metropole's links page, at the official Paris Web sites.

Metropole's Christmas Past in Paris:

Past Christmas' Season Features in Metropole at a Glance:

Anno 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.49 - 8. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.50 - 15. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.51 - 22. December 1997:

Metropole Issue 2.52 - 29. December 1997:

Anno 1996:

Metropole Issue 1.43 -
16. December 1996

  • Features: 'Shopping' on the Rue Saint Honoré,' 'Standing Around Waiting for Food' and 'Best Christmas Window Contest.'

Metropole Issue 1.44 - 23. December 1996

  • Feature: 'The Eating Season'

Metropole Issue 1.45 - 30. December 1996

  • Feature: 'New Year's in Paris'
Exotic New Years' In Paris

'Exotic' is in the French sensephoto: xmas wreath 1 and in this case means Egyptian. The Hôtel Scribe, hard by the Opéra, is proposing a New Years' Gala on 31. December, featuring an Egyptian theme. Everything included, I suppose, and a room is definitely part of it, for 1,450 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 71 24 24. Drop the '0' and add '33' to the number if calling from outside France.

Those of you looking for other New Year's ideas will have to check out the past year's URLs above - I don't think anything much for this year will be posted until the middle of this month - and even if some new items turn up, I expect it will be pretty much the same as always. The same old Champagne and caviar and foie gras again.

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