Using prepositions with celebration days, like Christmas

Look at these examples:

À Noël, on mange toujours trop!
At Christmas, we always eat too much.

Je t'ai vu le jour de Noël.
I saw you on Christmas Day.

À Pâques, les enfants vont à la chasse aux oeufs.
At Easter, the children go egg hunting.

À Hanoucca, on allume des bougies.
At Hanukkah, we light candles.

À l'Aïd, on prie et on va à la mosquée.
At Eid, we pray and go to the mosque.

Je vais chez mes parents le jour de l'Aïd.
I'm going to my parents' on Eid day.



Note that:

- when talking about the celebration in a general context (at Christmas), you use the preposition à + célébration;

- when you're talking about the day of the celebration (on Christmas Day), you use le jour de + célébration.

N.B.: for Eid, because it starts with a vowel, we use à l' or le jour de l', in order to ease the pronunciation. 

 

Also see Using prepositions with name days, like Saint Valentine's Day

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

À Hanoucca, on allume des bougies.
At Hanukkah, we light candles.


À Pâques, les enfants vont à la chasse aux oeufs.
At Easter, the children go egg hunting.


Le jour de Pâques, nous faisons un grand repas familial.
On Easter Day, we have a big family meal.


Je t'ai vu le jour de Noël.
I saw you on Christmas Day.


Je vais chez mes parents le jour de l'Aïd.
I'm going to my parents' on Eid day.


À Noël, on mange toujours trop!
At Christmas, we always eat too much.


À l'Aïd, on prie et on va à la mosquée.
At Eid, we pray and go to the mosque.


Q&A

Ann

Kwiziq community member

4 January 2018

5 replies

Why doesn't Noël use a definite article when other holidays do?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2018

9/01/18

Hi Ann, I looked at the lesson and couldn't find a difference between Noël and the other holidays. It is either:

1) À Noël -- At Christmas (in general) or
2) Le jour de Noël -- On Christmas Day.

Can you point me to what you have difficulty with exactly?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Ann

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2018

9/01/18

It is always à la St. Valentin et á la Aïd etc but just À Noël. Just wondering why

Chris

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2018

9/01/18

In the lesson you are referencing it is "à Pâques and, "à Hanoucca". The form "à la St. Valentin" is used for name days. Here is the corresponding lesson:

https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/4673

Hope that helps, -- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

27 February 2018

27/02/18

Hi Anne,


As Chris has already said Noël and Pâques don't have an article in front of them but  the Saints days  do ,


e.g. C'est la St Jean aujourdh'ui or aujourd'hui c'est la Sainte Honorine , ou la Sainte Isabelle, ou la Saint Martin...


It is ( so and so ) Saint' s day today ...


You also use the article with other religious celebrations , e.g. La Toussaint, La Pentecôte, l'Ascention . ( All Saints' day, Pentecost/ Whitsun , Ascention day )


So Noël and Pâques are pretty much the exceptions here,


Hope this helps!

Ann

Kwiziq community member

27 February 2018

27/02/18

Merci
How has your day been?