horz line

Noël in Paris 2003

photo: champs elysees lights 2002

The Champs-Elysées glitters, damply.

Twinkles in the City of Lights

Paris:- Saturday, 8. November 2003:- The items below are those available early in November, but I think the list is pretty complete as far as special seasonal events are concerned.

For all regular exhibitions and other events, you need to turn to last week's Scène column, which was updated within living memory. A little later on, another column will be added that will include suggestions for shopping, dining and how to do New Years Eve in Paris. I'm working on it.



Christmas In Paris 2OO3

There are so many items, with some of them difficult to classify, that the following may be a bit of a hodge-podge. Look it over and ye may find.

Christmas Lights
  • Rue du Saint-Honoré, from Tuesday, 25. November until Sunday, 4. January.
  • Place Vendôme, from Tuesday, 25. November until Friday, 2. January.
  • Avenue des Champs-Elysées, from Etoile to Concorde, from Thursday, 27. November until the beginning of January.
  • Avenue Montaigne, from Thursday, 27. November until Sunday, 4. January.
  • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, from Thursday, 27. November until Monday, 5. January.
  • Place des Victoires, and the rues Montorgueil, Petits-Carreaux and Etienne-Marcel, from Saturday, 29. November until Monday, 5. January.
  • Rue Lepic, from the beginning of December until mid-January.
Christmas Windows

Seasonal window decorations have evolved from displays of tons of 'Lego' and hundreds of 'Barbies' to elaborateposter: tintin, le temple du soleil themes this year, with Printemps being the first to be shown on TV-news, last Thursday. Result - there's more to look at for a longer delight. A good viewing time may be before noon on Sunday mornings. Otherwise, let the kids and moms stand in front.

  • Printemps, Haussmann, until Wednesday, 7. January. Theme - Hearts of Rose. At 64. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.
  • BHV, until Thursday, 1. January. At 52. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 4.
  • Aux Galeries Lafayette, from Friday, 14. November until Tuesday, 6. January. Eight windows designed by Gilles Cenazandotti. At 40. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.
  • Au Bon Marché, from Wednesday, 19. November until Monday, 5. January. At 24. Rue de Sèvres, Paris 7.
  • La Samaritaine - no official details yet, but the windows were full of toys and stuffed animals last Thursday. At 19. Rue de la Monnaie, Paris 1. At the Pont-Neuf.

Neighborhoods - 'quartiers' - also put up their own light shows, usually on shopping streets, around markets, or even on the city halls of arrondissements - so you may run into lights of cheer wherever you go in the city. This applies to decorated windows too - with lots of shops having their own seasonal displays.

Christmas Crêches
  • Crêche at Notre-Dame - on view from Saturday, 8. December until 2. February 2004, from 7:45 to 18:45. Place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, Paris 4.
  • Crêche at the Madeleine - a giant crêche created by the Santonniers de Provence is on view from Saturday, 20. December until Friday, 2. January. Daily from 9:00 to 19:00. Place de la Madeleine, Paris 8.
  • Exhibition of 250 Crêches - from Saturday, 8. December until Tuesday, 6. January. Daily from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. At the Paroisse Saint-Joseph Artisan, 214. ue La Fayette, Paris 10.

Ice Skating - the Hôtel de Ville's outdoor ice skating rink will be back in the place in front of Paris' main city hall at the beginning of December. Another one will be placed in front of the Gare Montparnasse. Both will be open for daily twirling until end of February. Skate rentals are usually offered.

Christmas Tree Forest - top Paris fashion designers turn their hands to 100 Christmas trees - to aid the Orphans Foundation of the Apprentis d'Auteuil, by auctioningposters: fondation cartier off printed designs of the trees and their decor. The creations can be seen at the Hôtel Dassault, which is located at 7. Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées. From Saturday, 20. December until Saturday, 3. January. Closed Sundays, Christmas Day and New Years Day, but open from 10:30 to 19:00. Paris 8. Métro: Franklin Roosevelt.

Merry-Go-Rounds - one in most of Paris' 20 various arrondissements, free for kids. The merry-go-rounds - 'les manèges' - begin operation on Saturday, 20. December, from 10:30 to 19:30 daily, and circulate until Sunday, 4. January.

Marchés de Noël

The Christmas markets located around Paris can vary somewhat, but if you only visit two they might seemposter: cirque de pekin identical. These markets sell traditional Christmas items, which might not all be made in China - such as the little figures that come from the south of France.

  • Village Noël, under the arcades on the Montparnasse Commercial Centre - facing the Place du 18. Juin 1940, from Thursday, 4. December until Wednesday, 31. December. Paris 15.
  • Marché de Noël, Place de la Nation. From Thursday, 4. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Paris 11.
  • Marché de Noël, Les Halles. At the Place Joachim-Bellay. From Friday, 5. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Hours from 11:00 to 20:00, and until 21:00 on Friday and Saturday. Paris 1.
  • Village du Père Noël, Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. From Wednesday, 10. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Paris 6.
  • Marché de Noël, Gare de Lyon. From Wednesday, 10. December until Wednesday, 24. December. At 20. Boulevard Diderot, Paris 12.
  • Marché de Noël, Gare du Nord. From Wednesday, 10. December until Wednesday, 24. December. At 18. Rue de Dunkerque, Paris 10.
  • Marché de Noël, in the place in front of the Gare Montparnasse. From Wednesday, 10. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Paris 15.
  • Marché de Noël, Gare Saint-Lazare. From Wednesday, 10. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Paris 8.
  • Marché de Noël, Place Saint-Sulpice. This market is distinguished for the third year in a row by aiding the handicapped, who have made all of the products for sale here. Hours are 10:00 to 19:00, and 12:00 to 22:00 on the first day. From Thursday, 11. December until Sunday, 14. December. Paris 6.
  • Marché de Noël, Gare de l'Est. In the past this market has featured many regional specialties from Alsace. From Monday, 15. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Paris 10.
  • Marché de Noël de Ménilmontant. This one is located in the 'quartier,' and includes all of the street animation associated with Paris' east. From Friday, 19. December until Sunday, 21. December. Paris 20.

Paris' regular marchés are also open during the festive season and have many edible specialites associated with it. There are several of these marchés in each arrondissement. Some are open six days a week while others operate on two or three days.

Les Voix de la Neva - the vocal ensemble of the city of Saint Petersburg, directed by Oleg Kovalev, will be singing in Russian and other European languages. The dates, times and locations -

  • Christmas Day, at 15:00 at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle and at the Eglise Réformée des Batignolles at 17:30.
  • Friday, 26. December, at 20:45 at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle.
  • Saturday, 27. December, at 20:45 at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle.
  • Sunday, 28. December, at 15:00 at the Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Blancs-Manteaux and at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle at 17:30.
  • Monday, 29. December, at 20:45 at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle.
  • Tuesday, 30. December, at 20:45 at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle.
  • Wednesday, 31. December, at 18:00 at the Temple de l'Oratoire du Louvre and at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle at 20:45.
  • Thursday, 1. January, at 15:00 at the Eglise Réformée des Batignolles and at the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle at 17:30.
  • Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre - on Wednesday, 24 December, the mass for families at 19:00 and at midnight, a solemn mass conducted by the Benedictines. On Christmas Day, masses at 11:00, 15:00, 18:00 and 22:00. At 35. Rue Chevalier-de-La-Barre, Paris 18.
  • The Madeleine - on Wednesday, 24. December. Doors open at 22:30 and the ceremony begins. This includes carols accompanied by the famous organ. The mass is about 23:00 and ends at 00:45, in time for the last Métro. On Christmas Day, the mass at 9:30 is followed by a high mass at 11:00, with singing and the organ. Additional masses at 12:30 and 18:00. Place de la Madeleine, Paris 8.
  • Notre-Dame-de-Paris - on Wednesday, 24 December, the mass for families at 18:00 and an international mass at 20:00. The midnight mass is conducted by Cardinal Lustiger. On Christmas Day, the first mass is at 8:30 followed by a Gregorian one at 10:00. Cardinal Lustiger leads the one at 11:30 and there is a final mass at 18:30. Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Paris, Paris 4.
  • Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés - on Wednesday, 24 December, the mass for families at 19:00 and an another mass at 22:30. On Christmas Day, masses are at 9:00, 10:30 and 19:00. Paris 6.

Paris de la Musique - chamber music and orchestras give a series of concertsposter: alsace of music by modern composers, at a variety of locations. Continuing until Wednesday, 26 November. Try the Web site for more precise information about this classic and contemporary festival in Paris. RésaTel.: 08 92 70 50 75.

Les Nuits des Musiciens - this 12th edition starts off with mezzo-soprano Hélène Delavault on Thursday, 11. December, followed by Andre Ceccarelli on Friday, 12. December, and wraps up with Souad Massi on Saturday, 13. December. All with varying accompaniment, all beginning at 20:30. All at Le Trianon, 80. Boulevard de Rochechouart, Paris 18. Métro: Barbés-Rochechouart. InfoTel.: 01 44 92 78 04.

Musique Sacrée - at Notre-Dame de Paris, with the big organ and traditional Christmas carols, under the direction of Nicole Corti. On Monday, 22. December, at 20:00. Cathedral Notre-Dame, 6. Place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, Paris 4. Métro: Cité. InfoTel.: 01 44 41 49 96.

Festival d'Art Sacré - includes 20 concerts, performed in 11 locations in theatres, museums and churches. From Monday, 17. November until Friday, 19. December. Most concerts start at 20:00 or 20:30. Tickets available from FNAC ticket locations and Ticketnet-Virgin, at Carrousel du Louvre, Champs-Elysées and Galeries Lafayette. InfoTel.: 01 44 70 64 10.

Pink Floyd Interstellar - rock sounds and an exhibition about this famous band, grouped together for an extended stay, until Sunday, 25. January. Organized around the idea of the 'Dark Side of the Moon.' Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. On concert evenings, the temporary exhibitions are open until 20:00. At the Parc de la Villette, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de Pantin. InfoTel.: 01 44 84 44 84.

Epouses et Concubines - is just one of the dances put on by the company and soloists of the Chinese National Ballet. From Friday, 21. November to Tuesday, 25. November. At the Théâtre du Châtelet, 1. Place du Châtelet, Paris 1. Métro: Châtelet. InfoTel.: 01 40 28 28 40.


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