Ah, the holidays - a time to break bread and share in the spirit of warmth, generosity and shopping mall madness. Up here in Jumpstreet’s native Québec, the holidays usher in a wide array of festivities. Montréal’s thriving Jewish community, for example, comes to life during the eight days of Chanukah. But like most of the Western World, December in La Belle Province is largely synonymous with Christmas. Ever the bon vivant, we often mark the occasion with a day-long tribute that runs long, long into the night. It’s called Réveillon, and it’s a lot of fun.
Literally translated as ‘awakening’, Réveillon is a French Catholic tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s, when families would break fast and tuck in to a late-night meal after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. The event earned its name from the way that the meal would rouse participants after the labours of their day-long fast. Nothing says “rise and shine” like a hearty meal, especially if you’re starving! It’s a tradition that is celebrated in France and Quebec, not to mention countless French communities around the world, from the New Brunswick to New Orleans.