What is Les santons de Provence?

What is Les santons de Provence?

Santons are hand-painted clay figurines, traditional to Provence. These small unassuming ornaments were first made during the time of the French Revolution and were a way of defying the government.

What do santons represent?

A Santon (sounds like sonn-tonn) is a small, handmade clay figurine. The characters typically represent vegetable sellers, bakers, men selling chestnuts, local dignitaries, or other personalities from daily village life.

What is Les santons in French?

Santons (Provençal: “santoun,” or “little saint”) are small hand-painted terracotta nativity scene figurines produced in the Provence region of southeastern France.

Which French cities are famous for making santons?


  • O’bon Paris team makes you discover a stunning tradition of Provence: the santons.
  • The Santons are a central element in the culture of Provence.
  • Crèche is prepared carefully in Provence by children as well as adults during the month of December.

Are santons religious objects?

Santons are used to create a nativity scene (crèche) with the key religious figurines of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus together with the people of the south of France.

What is crèche et santons de Provence?

A favourite Christmas pastime is to visit les crèches de Provence, in which clay figurines called santons recreate the nativity scene surrounded by the full village life of Provence. Les santons came into popularity during the French Revolution when public nativity scenes were banned.

What are the 12 desserts of Provence What do they represent?

Les Treize Desserts de Noël, or the thirteen desserts of Christmas are a tradition in Provence. They are enjoyed after le gros souper – the big supper. These thirteen desserts represent Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper.

How are santons dried?

Santons are fashioned in two halves, pressed together and fused. Hats, baskets and accessories are applied with glue. When the figure is dry, it’s given a gelatin bath to harden the figure and provide a surface to paint.

Why are the santons placed in the crèche?

Here’s what you need to know. First of all, all the santons in your cot must give the impression of walking towards Jesus. The santons should not turn their backs on him. In addition, the Nativity figures Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the donkey and the ox should be placed in the centre of your cot.

What is a crèche in France?

Women who work full time often enroll their children in government-run day care called a crèche, which will take children beginning at 3 months old.

Why do the French eat 13 desserts?

The thirteen desserts are in reference to Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper. As tradition goes, there must be at least thirteen sweets available. They are all served at once, and each guest must have at least a small bite of each dessert.

What are the thirteen desserts of Provence?

The Thirteen Desserts

  • Dates (perhaps stuffed with marzipan) representing the foods of the region where Christ lived and died.
  • Dried plums from Brignoles.
  • Calisson d’aix en Provence – a marzipan-like candy made from almond paste and candied melon.
  • Quince fruit paste or jam.
  • Candied melons.
  • Casse-dents of Allauch – a biscuit.