January in Provence
The villages of Provence become quiet after the holidays. People tend to stay in, stoke their living room fires, and leave a pot au feu (stew) on the stove for many hours.
There are fewer of the festivals that celebrate one particular type of local produce that I so much love; however, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t quality produce to be eaten. Rabbit, truffles, sea food and all manner of fresh root veggies and beautiful enormous cabbages fill the markets. I must admit I quite enjoy seeking out a sunny café and overlooking the quiet landscape dotted with stems of chimney smoke. This is a great time of year for foraging, visiting the sites of Provence that are otherwise crowded (Roman ruins, museums) and hiking.
January Events in Provence
Here are a few events that are happening in the villages this month in mostly the Bouches du Rhone region of Provence. In the cities such as Avignon, Aix en Provence, and Marseille, you’ll find cultural events like Jazz festivals, Italian cinema festivals etc. Soon I’ll be writing about the best things, in general, to do if you find yourself in this beautiful region of the world during the winter months.
Carrières de Lumières – Les Baux de Provence
This is your last chance to catch the light show in the carved out caverns of the Bauxite mines at Les Baux before they close until March. This year, “Les géants de la Renaissance” with a focus on projections of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci’s work.
Many Christmas markets are open until January 3rd including:
Aix en Provence
Saint Maries de la Me
Saint Martin de Crau
Épiphanie – all over France
The French celebrate the epiphany of Christ on either the 6th of January or the first Sunday of January which is this Sunday. You’ll notice the mountains of galettes des rois in local bakeries to celebrate the occasion.
Journée Portes Ouvertes Refuge St Roch SPA – Les Baux de Provence
Open day at the SPCA and fundraising. Choose from many varieties of jam made by volunteers or take home a loving puppy or kitten!
Noel aux Baux-de-Provence – Les Baux de Provence
The last days of the traditional displays of Christmas in Provence with parades, farm animals, nativity scenes and a Santon exhibition.
Marché de la Truffe – Richeranches
The most significant truffle market in France. There is a truffle market here every Saturday morning during the winter but this is the biggest one. Great atmosphere!
Weekend de la Truffe – Uzès
A weekend for truffle tasting and gawking…Everything to do with truffles!
Fête de la Mer (Oursinades) – Sausset-les-Pins
Some of the first sea urchin eating festivals this winter.
Cheval Passion – Avignon
A huge exhibition with over 1,000 horses that takes over the Parc des Expositions in Avignon. If you love horses- this is the event of the year for you in the entirety of France. You’ll find all kinds of expositions and shows.