What are santons in France?

What are santons in France?

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

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.

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.

What is crèche et santons de Provence?

Santon de Provence is a traditional crèche nativity figurine from Provence France. The word Santon comes from the Provençal dialect “santain” or little saint. The Santons of Provence depict not only the traditional crèche nativity scene but all all the people of a typical Provençal village of the 19th century.

What does Santon mean in English?

Definition of santon (Entry 1 of 2) : a saint in Muslim countries : a dervish regarded by the people as a saint. santon. noun (2) san·​ton | \ säⁿtōⁿ \

How are santons made?

Santons are made of clay. They are molded in two halves pressed together. The plaster molds are all made from a first handmade model (new models are created every year). After being removed from the mold, santons are dried for several weeks before being fired in a traditional kiln.

What do you associate with Les santons?

clay figurines
Santons, derived from the Provençal word santoun meaning little saint, are small painted clay figurines that are used to decorate Christmas Nativity crèches (cribs) in Provence in South-East France.

What are the 13 desserts of Christmas in France?

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.

What does the word crèche mean?

Definition of crèche 1 : a representation of the Nativity (see nativity sense 1) scene. 2 : day nursery. 3 : a foundling hospital. 4 : a group of young animals (such as penguins or bats) gathered in one place for care and protection usually by one or more adults.

What does the word stylite mean?

Christian ascetic
Definition of stylite : a Christian ascetic living atop a pillar.

What does the word anchoress mean?

An anchoress was a woman who was walled into a cell to live a life of prayer and contemplation. (The male equivalent was an ‘anchorite’.) Anchoresses were enclosed in their cells and had no way to get out.

What is the figurine Le Ravi?

There is also a figurine called le ravi, meaning ‘the delighted one’, and he always has his arms raised to express his delight. Everybody is welcoming the Baby Jesus! Some figurines are placed in la crèche later than the others:- The figurine of Baby Jesus is placed in His manger on Christmas Day.

What are santons?

Santons, derived from the Provençal word santoun meaning little saint, are small painted clay figurines that are used to decorate Christmas Nativity crèches (cribs) in Provence in South-East France.

Where are the best santons in France?

The village of Grignan boasts a giant crèche with over 1,000 santons and enchanting sound-and-light effects. There are well-known Foires aux Santons in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Arles and Aubagne, which also organizes a Biennale aux Santons every even year.

Who were the santons of Provence?

The santons of Provence stem from the first living Nativity scene, said to have been created in 1223 by St. Francis, in Greccio, near Assisi. When these evolved into Nativity crèches (manger scenes), they were made of painted and gilded wood and set up inside churches.

What is Christmas like in Provence?

Christmas is celebrated in a special way in Provence with little figurines called Santons which are truely a French tradition. 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.


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