Les foires aux santons 

A typically Provençale tradition, first started in Marseille, in the south of France, the fairs extended to many parts of Provence. The events are the window into the savoir-faire of the santonniers - the figurine makers- and an occasion during which to "complete" one's Crèche de Noël collection. They are held during the month of December in almost every town of Provence. 
Many French families have been handing down their precious santons for generations but the quality of some of the current production is such that old and new can all live together very happily. Displayed on a mantle or console in a room of choice in the French home, la crèche is the center of the Christmas decorations in many homes.

La crèche is a picturesque group of small painted or unpainted terra-cotta persons or animals. 

They represent the various actors of the nativity in the Manger, complete with animals and accessories. 

In the true Provencale version, the traditional costumes and trades are depicted with stunning authenticity. 

Some very elaborate crèche include typical architecture and details like a "Mas"- Provencal farm- olive trees and local livestock, to name a few.

images nimausensis

au revoir.


  1. My creche with all its santons, animals, bridges, trees and houses has been retired to the attic for the past years. It used to be quite a production with hills and landscapes built with special paper, water for rivers and lake , special lighting. I loved spending the hours butting it together every year. Then we started traveling for Christmas as i was just to exhausted to even think of having Christmas at home. We are now back home for the Holidays but the creche still is the attic. Perhaps next year...

  2. I love all these little figures, what a great way to tell a story!

  3. adore the fruit picking scene...adorable & so charming!