Happy New Year! | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Another holiday in this crazy few weeks of celebrations.  Now let's take a look at some interesting New Years traditions!

At Versailles it was a custom for the ladies who had been presented to the royal family to pay court on New Years Day.  According to the Comte de Mercy this is the day which Madame du Barry payed court to Antoinette, along side the duchesse d'Aiguillon and Maréchale de Mirepoix.  On New Years Eve he spoke to the dauphine, alerting her to the fact that du Barry would be meeting with her the following day and asking that she act with grace towards the King's favorite. 

The key to making this meeting a success, as in, Antoinette not snubbing du Barry, was to keep the affair a secret from Mesdames.  Louis' aunts had a way of foiling such meetings to their advantage.  When Antoinette was approached by the trio she first acknowledged the duchesse and gave her famous line about the crowd at Versailles second to du Barry, quickly turning her attnetion to the Maréchale.

There are other traditions to observe though! Some such as this date back as far as Roman times and perhaps even further:  give a gift on New Years Day, for good luck.  This does not need to be a fancy gift, some nuts, fruit or sweets would do!

A later tradition is one for New Year's morning;  children would receive sweets to ensure they had a good (sweet) year.

Make a New Year's cake, usually made with spices and figs.  Bake with a coin in the batter.  (mmm)  The cake is then sliced and everyone in the family gets a piece (the two end pieces are for the house and the local poor).  Whomever gets the coin in their piece is to be the luckiest of the new year.

Enjoy the parties tonight and have a lovely New Year!! Best wishes from the Gossip Guides!


  1. Interesting post, thank you for sharing!

    Happy New Year!!

  2. Ah, the champagne glass. Was its shape truly patterned after MA's breast?

    Have a wonderful New Year!

  3. Happy New Year + happy birthday!

  4. How did you ladies know it is my birthday! Thank you!!! I am very excited to party with style tonight! I also received the 3rd season of the Tudors as a gift, hurrah!

  5. Happy birthday and happy new year Lauren - I hope you have a great night!

  6. New Year and a birthday. Well! I think that calls for some celebration. Have a Happy New Year and a fabulous birthday!!

  7. Happy New Year to you! Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  8. I always learn the most fabulous things on your blog.

    Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

  9. I wrote about the Marie Antoinette-Du Barry New Year incident in my review of Madame du Barry by Jean Plaidy:


    If you scroll down there's a link to a great Youtube montage of versions of the confrontation, starting with Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette.

    Happy New Year everyone and happy birthday Lauren!

  10. You received The Tudors Season 3? You have no idea how jealous I am! ;)
    Have fun watching.

  11. Happy Birthday and best wishes for the New Year! Your site is so fun and informative!

  12. Lauren, I just saw the posts about your birthday. Happy Birthday and best wishes for 2010! And yes, your site is an absolute treat. :) Keep up the great work!

  13. I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to stop by the Guide! I really hope you had a great new years eve and let's all try and stick to the 2010 resolutions we made!

    I am very excited about this year and hope to hear more from you!!

  14. I know this is completely random.. but I was just reading through your blog, because well, I love it.. and I noticed the picture of the champagne looked familiar?

    Well, I may be wrong. but it looked like a screenshot of my video "The Fame" I made to Marie Antoinette. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-d28_CsPPw)

    Which made me very happy that you watched it! (:

    So thankyou!

  15. @Miss_Natalie
    YES I love your video! It is one of the best MA movie ones on youtube :o)

    I wish I could edit videos but I have no clue how! So thank you for making such a lovely tribute to the 2006 movie. Hope to see you around and do share your 2 cents & 18th cent. knowledge with us!