Discovering French Culture

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What is the largest religion in France?

Which event led to a period of anti-clericalism and the separation of church and state in France?

What is the most popular sport in France?

Which French museum contains works from ancient civilizations to the present day?

Which French region is known for its influence on French cuisine?

What is the most important event in the fashion industry held in Paris?

What is the most widely spoken language in France other than French?

Which French writer is associated with the Romanticism movement?

What is the name of the prestigious cycling race that takes place annually in France?


The Culture, Religion, and Regional Customs of France


  • France has had a significant impact on high culture, cinema, fashion, cuisine, literature, technology, social sciences, and mathematics globally.
  • The Académie Française sets an official standard of linguistic purism, but it is not mandatory, and the government sometimes ignores it.
  • France promotes its culture and language through subsidies and preferential loans for French cinema and mandatory French language use in advertisements directed at the general public.
  • France has many regional languages, but the importance of local languages remains subject to debate.
  • French pupils are expected to learn at least two foreign languages, with the first being typically German or English.
  • A revision of the French constitution creating official recognition of regional languages was implemented by the Parliament in Congress at Versailles in July 2008.


  • France is a secular country where freedom of thought and of religion is preserved.
  • Christianity is the largest religion in France, with Catholics accounting for 50% of the population, followed by Protestants at 8%, and other Christians at 2%.
  • Non-believers/Agnostics account for 20%, Atheists 13%, and Muslims 7%.
  • France has a long history of anti-Semitism despite being the first country in Europe to emancipate its Jewish population during the French Revolution.
  • Islam is the third-largest faith in France, with the largest Muslim population (in percentage) of any Western European country due to immigration from former French colonies in North Africa.
  • Buddhism is widely reported to be the fifth largest religion in France, after Christianity, atheism, Islam, and Judaism.

Regional Customs:

  • France is the result of centuries of nation-building and the acquisition and incorporation of historical provinces and overseas colonies into its geographical and political structure.
  • Regional customs and traditions include fashion, religious observance, regional language and accent, family structure, cuisine, leisure activities, industry, and more.
  • Policies enacted by the French Third Republic encouraged displacement from rural areas to urban areas.
  • Regional identification is most pronounced in cultures linked to regional languages and non-French-speaking traditions.
  • There are huge differences in lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and world view between Paris and the provinces.emphasis on food and wine, with French cuisine being renowned worldwide for its quality and variety. French meals are typically composed of several courses, including an appetizer, main course, cheese course, and dessert. Regional specialties also play a significant role in French cuisine. Wine is also an integral part of French culture, with France being one of the world's largest wine producers. Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy are among the most well-known wine regions in France.


France is also renowned for its fashion industry, with Paris being considered one of the fashion capitals of the world. French fashion is known for its elegance, sophistication, and timeless style, with famous designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Dior hailing from France. The annual Paris Fashion Week is one of the most important events in the fashion industry.


Sports play an important role in French culture, with soccer (football), rugby, and cycling being among the most popular. The French national soccer team has won the FIFA World Cup twice, in 1998 and 2018. The Tour de France, a prestigious cycling race that takes place annually in France, is also a significant sporting event. Other popular sports in France include basketball, handball, and tennis.


France has a rich artistic heritage, with famous artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Auguste Rodin having lived and worked in France. The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world's largest and most famous art museums, with a collection that includes works from ancient civilizations to the present day. Other notable art museums in France include the Musée d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou.


France has a long literary tradition, with famous French writers including Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, and Albert Camus. French literature has had a significant impact on world literature, with French writers influencing movements such as Romanticism, Symbolism, and Existentialism. The Académie française, founded in 1635, is responsible for preserving the French language and promoting French literature.


Music is also an important part of French culture, with French musicians and composers having made significant contributions to classical music, jazz, and popular music. Famous French musicians include Edith Piaf, Maurice Ravel, and Django Reinhardt. French chanson, a type of song characterized by its poetic lyrics and melodic style, is a distinct genre of French music.


France has a long history of Catholicism, and the Catholic Church has played an important role in French culture and society. However, France has also been characterized by a strong tradition of secularism, with the French Revolution of 1789 ushering in a period of anti-clericalism and the separation of church and state. Today, France is a secular country, with freedom of religion guaranteed by law. Other religions practiced in France include Islam, Judaism, and Protestantism.Overview of French Culture

  • French cuisine is highly regionalized and influenced by Basque cuisine in the southwest of France.
  • Cheese and wine play a major role in French cuisine, with many variations and regulated appellation laws.
  • The French typically have a simple breakfast and formal four-course meals consisting of a starter, salad, main course, and cheese/dessert course.
  • Shopping for food in small local shops and markets is a tradition disrupted by the arrival of supermarkets and hypermarkets.
  • France has traditionally had lower rates of obesity and heart disease, but modern fast food has led to a rise in obesity among French youth.
  • French etiquette prohibits placing hands below the table and elbows on it.
  • Football is the most popular sport in France, followed by rugby union, cycling, tennis, handball, basketball, and sailing.
  • Paris is a center for fashion shows, with many of the world's biggest fashion houses headquartered in France.
  • France has a rich artistic history, with significant contributions to Gothic, Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, and Cubism art movements.
  • France is the birthplace of cinema and has made significant contributions to the industry, including the Nouvelle Vague movement.
  • French cinema is often portrayed as more liberal in terms of screenplay, cast, and storytelling.French Culture: Cinema, Literature, Architecture, Transportation, Holidays, and Multiculturalism

Cinema is a popular activity in France, with many cinema operators offering a "flat-rate pass" for approximately €20 per month.

Major cinema operators in France are UGC and Pathé, mainly located in city suburbs due to the number of screens and seating capacity.

Paris has the highest density of cinemas (movie theaters) in the world, showing foreign movies alongside mainstream works.

The Cinémathèque Française in Paris holds one of the largest archives of films, movie documents, and film-related objects in the world.

French literature is important in the French educational system, and the French media pays attention to French book fairs and book prizes.

While reading remains a favorite pastime of French youth, it has decreased in importance compared to music, television, sports, and other activities.

French literary taste is centered on the novel, followed by non-fiction essays and books on current affairs.

France has a number of traditional road naming conventions.

Public and school holidays in France generally follow the Roman Catholic religious calendar, except for Labor Day and the National Holiday.

French cultural identity is the result of powerful internal forces and profound historic events, but France remains marked by social class and regional diversity.

The French culture has been mobilized to further French imperial interests, and aspects of French cultural imperialism have endured beyond the decolonization period.

Overseas French cultures include the cultures of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, French Guiana in South America, Reunion, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia.


Do you want to test your knowledge of French culture, religion, and regional customs? Take our quiz to learn more about France's diverse heritage, from its rich artistic traditions to its famous cuisine, and everything in between. Challenge yourself with questions on topics such as French literature, cinema, architecture, and transportation. Discover the impact of religion on French society and explore the country's regional customs and traditions. Whether you're a Francophile or just curious about the French way of life, this quiz is sure

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