What is the History Behind the Santons of Provence
Contributor blog post by Mirabeau Wine:
Sir Francis of Assisi established the tradition of nativity scenes in 1223 with live enactments by people and animals during the midnight mass on Christmas eve in his church of Greccio, Italy. The tradition halted after the French Revolution, when many churches were closed. In 1803 the Santons of Provence were first created; small figurines called “santouns” or “little saints”
…Continue reading here for more detail on these little clay figures that form an important part of Provencal Christmas traditions. Visit a local church in December and you will see their Crêches des Noël.