Share :

Provencal "santons"

  • Les santons de Provence Foire aux santons Ollioules Six Fours Biennale des Santons
  • Les santons de Provence Foire aux santons Ollioules Six Fours Biennale des Santons
The first herald of the Christmas season, the 'santons' will soon be with us!
These little coloured clay figurines will take their place in the Nativity to depict the Nativity scene. This tradition originated in the living Nativity scenes of the Middle Ages.

The first Nativity scene was created by someone from Marseille between the years 1775 and 1800 and the first fair of santons was held in 1803 in Marseille. Gradually moulds were developed to reproduce batches of these figures, and thus the job of santonnier was born.

As well as the characters of the Nativity scene, the inhabitants of the village complete the Nativity, offering a gift to the newborn. So next to baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the animals, you may also find:
- The tambourine player
- Lou Ravi (wearing a nightcap, he's the village fool)
- The Pistachié (the main servant)
- The Bohémien
- The "old people"
- The washerwoman
- The snail seller... and many more!

You'll find the little figurines of the Nativity scene in painted clay, with collections of various santonniers in the santons markets organised in the towns of Six Fours and Ollioules from mid-November.

The Ollioules santons market at the Vieux Moulin from Sunday 22 November to Sunday 27 December 2015
Les santons de Provence Foire aux santons Ollioules Six Fours Biennale des Santons