In Provence, Christmastime traditionally lasts 40 days, from Saint Barbara feast day (4 December) to Candlemas (2 February). Provençal culture truly awakens during Christmas festivities.
The region’s towns and villages are brought to life with living nativity scenes and pastoral plays. Locals sit down to share the gros souper on Christmas Eve, a lean yet hearty meal that ends with the thirteen Christmas desserts. At Candlemas, nativity scenes are taken down and the feast of the purification of the Virgin and “renewed fire” are celebrated. Christmastime is also an excellent season for gourmets, with prestigious Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners and cooking classes provided in exceptional settings.
Exploring the Christmas traditions of Provence is an opportunity to get a glimpse of and take part in authentic regional culture and the local experience.