Christmas is a time for traditions and while France probably doesn’t spring to mind immediately when thinking about the festive period and its traditions, there are plenty here. And even more so, plenty in the south which surprised me when I first moved to the Alpes-Maritimes. I don’t know why it should be so surprising, this is after all a Catholic country but I associate Christmas traditions much more with northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia, UK and Germany. Let me tell you about one of the main ones which I discovered thanks to the local Christmas Fair, Noëls du Monde, a few years ago. Provence celebrates Christmas with a special meal on the 24th of December known as “le gros souper” or the big supper. It is a meatless meal, considered a “repas maigre” (light meal) often beginning with a garlic soup, followed by a simple fish dish. But the focus is the dessert, or all thirteen desserts to be precise.