InspireProvencal History & TraditionsVirginie Van Der Wees

Festive Christmas Markets in Provence

Holiday Markets

At this time of the year, Provence experiences reasonably mild weather so the Christmas markets are usually held in the open air. Associated with the celebration of Christmas, you can find everything related to holiday celebrations and Saint-Nicolas. The Christmas markets look like real little villages. Stroll through the alleys, letting yourself be guided by the smells and colours represent a real pleasure for both tourists and locals.

Les Marchés de Noël en Provence

Un marché de Noël se passe généralement en plein air.
Le marché de Noël est associé à la célébration de Noël.
Vous pourrez y trouver tout ce qui touche aux fêtes de Noël et à la Saint-Nicolas.
Les marchés de Noël ressemblent à de véritables petits villages.
Se promener dans les allées, se laisser guider par les odeurs et les couleurs représentent un véritable plaisir aussi bien pour les touristes que pour les autochtones.

Aix-en-Provence Christmas Marets in Provence

History of Christmas Markets

The first Christmas markets appear in the 14th century in Germany. They were present mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. Gradually, this tradition spread throughout Europe, including Provence. Certain well-known markets attract millions of tourists each year, such as Strasbourg for example. The markets really participate in the cultural and economic life of the city.

Les premiers marchés de Noël apparaissent au 14ème siècle en Allemagne. Ils étaient présents principalement en Europe Centrale et de l’Est. Petit à petit, cette tradition s’est répandue partout en Europe, y compris en Provence. Certains marchés très connus attirent des millions de touristes chaque année, comme celui de Strasbourg par exemple. Les marchées participent vraiment à la vie culturelle et économique de la ville.

Christmas Market Period

The traditional Christmas markets open their chalets (vendor stalls) in late November. They usually stay in place until the first Sunday after New Years Day. In some villages, they can even be present until January 6 (Epiphany). Open every day in December, the vendors welcome you with open arms.

Les traditionnels marchés de Noël ouvrent leurs chalets à partir du mois de novembre. Ils restent généralement installés jusqu’au premier dimanche après le Jour de l’An. Dans certains villages, ils peuvent même être présents jusqu’au 6 janvier (l’Epiphanie). Ouverts tous les jours de décembre, les vendeurs vous accueillent à bras ouverts.

What can you find at the Christmas Markets?

The stalls are full of artisanal products, jewelry, products from elsewhere, etc. Many smells of mulled wine, cinnamon cakes intermingle and immerse you in the Christmas atmosphere. If you get hungry after your shopping, there are many local produce merchants who are happy to offer you a taste of the region’s specialties: cheese, cold meats, but also cakes such as gingerbread.

Les échoppes regorgent de produits artisanaux, de bijoux, de produits venus d’ailleurs, etc. De nombreuses odeurs de vin chaud, de gâteaux à la cannelle s’entremêlent et vous plongent dans l’ambiance de Noël. Si vous avez un petit creux après vos achats, de nombreux marchands de produits locaux sont présents et se font un plaisir de vous faire déguster les spécialités de la région : fromage, charcuterie mais aussi gâteaux comme le pain d’épice.

Markets are for Kids

Christmas Traditions Santons Provence

Depending on the village or town, parents can accompany their children to watch the Christmas crib or they can bring them to take a picture with Santa. Rides and other attractions such as ice rinks will also delight young and old alike. Christmas markets are booming because they successfully combine the joys of winter with a festive atmosphere.

Selon les villages ou villes, les parents pourront accompagner leurs enfants regarder la crèche de Noël ou ils pourront les emmener prendre une photo avec le Père Noël. Des manèges et autres attractions telles que les patinoires feront aussi la joie des petits comme des grands. Les marchés de Noël connaissent un véritable essor parce qu’ils mêlent avec succès joies de l’hiver et ambiance de fête.

Aix-en-Provence During the Holidays

In Provence, the Aix-en-Provence market is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful. But it is still quite subjective in the end. Illuminations, Christmas decorations and artisans were supposed to take over Cours Mirabeau (the city’s main thoroughfare) from November 18, 2020. Given the circumstances, the tourism office is still waiting for direction from the municipality regarding the Christmas markets this year.

Winter in Provence Aix-en-Provence Cours Mirabeau Christmas

En Provence, le marché d’Aix-en-Provence est un des plus beaux, si ce n’est le plus beau. Mais cela reste assez subjectif en fin de compte. Des illuminations, des décorations de Noël et des artisans étaient censés s’emparer du Cours Mirabeau (principale artère de la ville) à partir du 18 novembre, 2020. Etant donné les circonstances, l’office du tourisme attend toujours les instructions de la municipalité concernant les marchés de Noël cette année.

Holiday Menus for Christmas

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Virginie Van Der Wees

Virginie Van Der Wees lives with her young family near the Montagne Sainte Victoire, a short 20-minute drive from Aix-En-Provence. She is a masseuse and a certified French teacher for non-French speakers. Since 2018, Virginie puts together full immersion experiences that include hosting and supporting language learners at their family home.

The Virginie in Provence curriculum allows students to build on their knowledge and move to the next level and beyond – all while enjoying the wonders that Provence has to offer. Suitable for any age group, Virginie offers adapted, tailor-made solutions for clients who are moving to Provence. This program allows them to improve their French and overcome cultural changes. Virginie also provides classic French lessons and cooking lessons (in French) online or at the client’s home.

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