Christmas in Provence (and on the French Riviera)

The end of year celebrations are approaching rapidly. Christmas is an opportunity for many of us to rekindle the flame of local traditions, of our childhood, or of our adopted country ... All the more so this year, because the Holidays will be celebrated in small parties. We have decided to dedicate this blog to the Christmas traditions of the south of France!


The wheat of Sainte Barbe: On December 4, wheat (or lentils) is traditionally planted in small pots. An activity much appreciated by preschools in the region. If the seeds germinate well and grow before Christmas Day, the year will be prosperous. If not…


The Provençal crib: Magnificent cribs appear in places of worship and in houses. Entire villages with little figurines called santons, which it is customary to collect and pass on from generation to generation. In the small village of Lucéram, you can admire some 400 nativity scenes, all different from each other.


The 13 desserts: Tradition obliges, after a real Provencal Christmas meal and after midnight mass, it is customary to indulge in no less than 13 different desserts, including mendiants, calissons, quince pasta, fougasse bread ...


Extinguish the fire in the fireplace (Niçoise tradition): On the evening of December 24, we put out the fire in the fireplace, in order to relight it again with an olive log, while saying « A l’an que ven, se sian pas mai que noun siguen de mens ! » (See you next year, if we are not more than hopefully we are not less!).

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