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The South of France Loves Its Holiday Events

December 18th, 2016 · No Comments · France


Seems like every little town in this part of France has its own, slightly different holiday traditions.

This one puts up lots of lights. That one has a big musical event in the church. The one over there has the Christmas Eve service and the trucked-in kiddie rides in the place.

And lots of people invite friends into their homes for mulled wine or hot-and-spiced cider.

We have been happy and impressed with what is going on in our part of the Languedoc.

To recap:

–The first weekend of December, a few towns over from where we live, we visited a Christmas fair at an old monastery. We were able to buy a few Christmas gifts of jewelry, enjoy wandering carolers and eat a pulled-pork sandwich.

–The second weekend, our little town had its own crafts fair, along with a stand selling oysters and giant prawns. The mulled wine was hot and wonderful and 1 euro for a fairly big cup. We also met a woman who does oil paintings of the town, and we are interested in that.

–In the afternoon of the same weekend, we drove to the surprisingly big church of a nearby town to enjoy a mostly-in-English Nine Lessons and Carols event, which went a long way toward assuaging my yearning to sing Christmas carols”.

–Tonight, we enjoyed another event of live music, entitled Concert de Noel, this one at the town church, which is a three-minute walk from where we live. The choir of about 35, several of them our neighbors, was led by a fine tenor who directed the choir for a dozen songs and sang solo on several others before a near-capacity crowd in the 300-year-old church.

–Afterward, nibbles and wine were available at the town’s Salle de Fete (party room), about a 150-yard walk in the crisp evening … and after that a friend in a nearby town hosted the apero with the hot cider and mounds of hors d’oeuvres.

Next weekend, I have a choice of Christmas Eve services, one early, in English; the second later, in French.

So, turns out, the French may not be particularly religious, but they expect and deliver lots of small-town events and Christmas atmosphere throughout the holiday season.


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