Traditions of Christmas: Noel

posted in: Christmas, Holidays | 0

The word Noel is very prevalent during the Christmas season, but what does it mean?

In French the word Noël means Christmas or Christmas season.

The term derives from the Middle English word nowel. This word derives from the Old French nael which was taken from the Latin natalis, which means birth.

During the Middle Ages, several ” English carols began with nowell, and French carols similarly used noel. Since early songs often used the first word as the title, a “noel” came to refer to any song about the birth of Christ. Because of this, the word now carries the dual meaning of a Christmas song and the Christmas celebration itself.”

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word nowel as “a shout of joy or Christmas song.”

The term Joyeux Noël means a joyous Christmas.

So, the First Noël is saying the first Christmas or first Christmas season.

Papai Noël means Father Christmas, which we refer to as Santa Claus in the United States.

There are cities in Missouri and Nova Scotia named Noël and a Mount Noël in British Columbia, Canada.

So, a Joyeaux Noël to you this season!

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