The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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Christmas Traditions in Provence

Posted by on in French Culture & Traditions

Christmas in Provence is full of traditions both ancient and new, religious and secular, making it a fascinating and fun time to visit this part of France.  Provence is such a popular summertime destination that it might come as a surprise to find out that it’s also wonderful in winter.  With mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine and so much going on, spending Christmas in Provence is truly memorable.

Here are some of the traditions you’ll find at Christmas in Provence.

Christmas Traditions in Provence
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Christmas on the Côte d'Azur

Posted by on in Provence-Côte d'Azur

Christmas on the Côte d’Azur is full of fun, often full of good weather and probably a great deal more festive than you might think.

I’ve put together a round up of christmassy things to do and places to go on the French Riviera and nearby based purely on my family's experience and interests. It’s far from exhaustive, just my ideas, so please feel free to add any events I’ve missed in the comments below.

Christmas on Côte dAzur

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It's December! Let the the build-up to Christmas begin! I know in parts of the world it has already begun with Christmas lights twinkling in London since the start of November and Christmas markets already open across Europe, but around where I live there is little sign of Christmas before December. And I must say I do kind of like it like this. When I saw the admittedly stunning festive decorations in Galeries Lafayette in Paris in late October it just felt wrong. This is partly related to the fact that I'd been wearing shorts and sandals until only days before as the weather in the south stays warm throughout October and therefore just isn't condusive to festive thoughts, but also in part to my dislike of how commercial Christmas has become in general.

Christmas decorations Galeries Lafayette Paris

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Christmas traditions in Provence - Santons

Posted by on in Provence-Côte d'Azur

Santons, derived from the Provençal word santoun meaning little saint, are small painted clay figurines that are used to decorate Christmas Nativity crèches (cribs) in Provence in South-East France.  If you've spent any time in this area during the festive season you may well have seen them either for sale in Christmas markets or in place on a decorative crèche somewhere. They are very popular collectables, with websites selling them to overseas markets, particularly USA, but they are much more than just tourist trinkets.

santons of provence old couple

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