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This is specially a fun time for children who impatiently await their Père Noël (French version of Santa Claus which, literally translated, means Father Christmas!)


Christmas in Parisian School


Schools close for Christmas holidays for two weeks starting from the weekend preceding Christmas. Most of the French children from middle-class household attend municipal schools. In Paris, and suburban areas, today was the last day of school before Christmas holidays.

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City of Paris is undoubtedly one of the most expensive metropolitans to live in. However festival fun does not always have to come with a high price tag. Here's a selection of some free activities to suit everyone- whether you are young or old, artistic or sportive, recluse or adventurous, shopaholic or environment conscious or a bit of everything !


Free and Fun Xmas


Don't forget to check out Indian events for the month. If you are one of those who wish to live life to the fullest never mind a few loose purse-stings, go and indulge in some capital fun, the Parisian way.

Read more: Monthly E-motions- December of free festive fun


This is the month of celebration of womanhood and of the achievements of women in different domains. At IIP, we honour and salute women everywhere this month with a rich and diverse program on and by Indian women- Amrita Shergill, Vaibhavi Merchant, Radhika Jha and Brigitte Chataignier to name some...


Festival Cinérail


River Ganges is the epitome of Indian femininity- mother, goddess and nourisher. No less than three different programs pay her homage this month. Ganga- Dance creation by Brigitte Chataignier, documentary film Water/ Ganga by artist Velu Vishwanadhan and an Evening of documentary films on Ganga by Patrice Chagnard and Jothiammal Nagar.


Read more: Monthly E-motions- March of Feminine Power


A glimpse of Paris in films

The monuments, landscapes, outdoor and indoor locations of Paris have held a charm for over decades for generations of film makers and cinéphiles alike.


Eiffel Tower


It is no wonder then to see these famous monuments forming the backdrop of some notorious sequences from audio-visual arts. Other locations are easily recognised by those who are familiar with Paris. Here's a ready reckoner of glimpses of Paris seen through films in live action and CGI.

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Leek & Mushroom Pie

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The aroma of freshly baked pies is tantalizing on a cold, windy evening. Here is an extremely simple recipe of Leek and mushroom pie or 'Quiche aux poireaux et champignons'. Why leek and mushrooms ? Autumn being the season for mushrooms, they are readily available everywhere. The soft tastes of mushrooms and leeks blend well with the crustiness of pastry shell. 


Leek & Mushroom Pie

It can be used as a starter or a main dish. Serves 6.

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French president's official residence, Le Palais de l'Elysée, is not privy to the festive spirit. I am sure that there must be have been a precedent to this tradition to have a giant Christmas Tree befitting the courtyard of France's President. But it is only now with media savvy Nicolas Sarkozy that I have begun noticing the details!

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When Nawabs Come Calling Paris- the history

The prominence of the city of Lucknow came in 18th and 19th centuries under the reign of the Nawabs as they were great patrons of art, music, poetry, dance and architecture. Saint-Hubert Théroulde, an early French traveller to Lucknow between 1838 and 1840, remarked that in Lucknow, one could find statues of Hercules, Apollo, Venus and Shepherds and shepherdess of Louis XIV and Louis XV and that once accustomed to the natives and their dresses, one could believe himself to be in Paris.


La Porte du Lal Bagh, Faizabad

© British Library Images, The British Library Board. All rights expressly reserved.

With its composite nature of Mughal roots and European influences during the colonial era, Lucknow comes to Paris to recreate its Nawabi splendour of en era gone by through more than 200 works including oil paintings, water colour painting, engravings, miniature paintings of Indian courts, textiles and other decorative objets d'art, gold work, glass work and jewellery.

Read more: When Nawabs Come Calling Paris- the history


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