Christmas in france
I have been living in France for the past five years and I absolutely love it here at Christmas time. It reminds me a lot of Christmas in my country where the festivities used to focus around family gatherings around festive tables and family attendance at mass on the eve of the 24th just before our big Christmas dinner.
A few weeks ago I was in England and I was shocked to see that some shops had already put up their Christmas decorations. It is not that I don’t like Christmas decorations; it is just that October feels to me very early to start preparing for Christmas. I would much rather take the slow road and gently get into the Christmas mood step by step, like a progression into something really important.
Christmas in Central France: The Berry
I live in Central France, in what is considered the countryside, perhaps that is why Christmas traditions are kept alive longer than in big cities where the hustle and bustle of everyday life urges people to prepare their Christmas like a military campaign. Here in the Indre department, Christmas makes a slow but steady appearance. Decorations appear late and few and far between. It is mainly the bigger cities that can afford fancy Christmas decorations in their streets and can boast Christmas illuminations. The rest of the villages just barely illuminate their main streets. We have no big Christmas parades or events here; instead Christmas markets are what signal the start of the Christmas festivities.
There are several Christmas markets around. Some of them specialised in a particular item like truffles or foie gras, while others are more general and include decorations, clothing and food. There are also the international Christmas markets like the French-German market in Argenton Sur Creuse and the European Christmas market in Saint Maur.
Below you can find some of the biggest Christmas events in Berry.
Christmas markets in Central France
- Christmas markets in Rural France
One of the things I love about rural France is its Christmas spirit. Here Christmas takes the slow road and the shops start to decorate for the Christmas season at the start of December. Nothing seems...
- Christmas shopping at a French outdoor market
In most places, Christmas shopping is done with weeks in advance at major supermarkets. In France however, the people takes pride in buying the fresher produces for their festive tables. For this they go to...
The Chocolate market
The Salon du Chocolat
This year Argenton Sur Creuse opened the Christmas season with its Salon du Chocolat on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of November. The Salon du Chocolat is a heaven for all chocolate lovers. I was there last year and we could hardly move among the tide of people who were happily spending large amounts of money buying chocolates made by the best Chocolatiers in France.
Argenton Sur Creuse and its Salon du Chocolat
Chateau Guillaume Christmas market
The village of Chateau Guillaume in Lignac offers one of the most picturesque Christmas markets, mainly due to the beauty of the setting. Last year there were more than 50 stalls selling cakes, crepes, decorations, etc.
This year the Chateau Guillaume Christmas market will take place on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of November. This is an excellent opportunity to buy local products and also to have a tour of the medieval village and the Chateau Guillaume castle. For more information you can call:02.54.37.22.21.
Argenton Sur Creuse, Indre 36200, France
The French-German market at Argenton Sur Creuse
The French-German market at Argenton Sur Creuse will take place this year on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28th of November from 9am to 8pm at the Halle de la Grenouille. It is expected to have around 70 stalls selling regional products, food, and presents.
This is the perfect place to enjoy a German beer (directly from Ulm), pretzels and German wines. The entrance is free.
My children like this market because it is a place where they always find their friends and also because there is a Santa going around giving sweeties!
To see photos of the 2010 French-German market you can click here
Argenton Sur Creuse: French-German Christmas market
Festival of Regional Products at Le Blanc 36300
On Sunday 12 of December 2010 you will find no better place to buy the most delicious foie gras, meat, seafood and many other festive foods for your Christmas table.
If you don’t know how to cook something just ask the seller and he will be more than happy to give you his own family recipe!
Journee de Noel
Christmas celebrations in Le Blanc take centre stage on the 19th of December with a Christmas market, street shows, and exhibition of vintage toys plus a horse and carriage tour around the town with Santa.
European Christmas Market at Saint-Maur 36250
I believe that this is what used to be the British Christmas market (as it is in the same place and around the same dates). I have been there every single year and enjoy it as much as the children did with the free pony rides and merry-go-round.
This year the European Christmas market promises to end with fireworks. The market will be open on the 18th of December from 10am to 8pm. For more information you can call 0254082630
Limoges Christmas Market at Place de la Motte 87000, France
Marché de Noël limoges
Limoges Christmas Market
The Christmas market in Limoges is held every year at the Place de la Motte the week before Christmas. On 2010, the market will be open from Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st of December from 9am to 7pm. In the Limoges market you can find everything from local products, food and clothes to Limoges porcelain.
The Limoges Christmas market is the perfect place for finding a last minute Christmas present for that special person. The food is sold by local producers directly from their farms, therefore assuring an excellent quality. Only producers are authorized to sell in this market.
The market takes place in a specially built “exterior village” and entrance is free of charge.
Illuminations at Limoges
If you are visiting the Limoges Christmas market, why not treat yourself to a tour on its mini train around the city. You will be able to see the old city part of the city as well as the modern Limoges in the comfort of your seat.
The little train only works an hour a day from 17:30 to 18:30.