Bûche de Noël Contest Highlights French Culture

Proud Whitman French students left to right: Elizabeth DeMartino, Cinthya Ramos and Katherine Gottard, winners of this year’s Bûche de Noël contest, along with their French Teacher Dr. Geralde Eikenaar and Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy enjoy a congratulatory moment.
Proud Whitman French students left to right: Elizabeth DeMartino, Cinthya Ramos and Katherine Gottard, winners of this year’s Bûche de Noël contest, along with their French Teacher Dr. Geralde Eikenaar and Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy enjoy a congratulatory moment.

Walt Whitman French Teacher Dr. Geralde Eikenaar describes an ancient French tradition dating back to the Middle Ages of burning a log from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. It is said that farmers then used part of the log to attract a good harvest for the year.

Today, the tradition still lives on. But in modern times the log burning has evolved into the tradition of making a log-shaped cake called the bûche de Noël, or Christmas log. The log cake is served alongside many other pastries during Le Réveillon, a late supper held after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. “The tradition at Whitman continues for its fifteenth year,” said Dr. Eikenaar.  We had each grade level represented, and it’s nice to see that our students as young as 6th-grade who are interested in pursuing the French language following our traditions here at Whitman.”

This year French Language students reenacted the tradition, and a panel of hungry judges conferred and awarded the 2015 bûche de Noël first-place award to freshman, Elizabeth DeMartino.

Thank you to all the French students who participated in the Bûche de Noël Contest. You did a wonderful job representing the French Culture with 57 students participating while adding to the Holidays spirit in our school.  Bravo!

2nd prize: Cinthya Ramos

3rd prize: Katherine Gottard