In a small, and very old, corner of South West France Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany are celebrated in a festival of the crèche – the manger and stable which provided the setting for the birth of Christ.
In and around the Girondine village of Castelmoron D’Albert many householders display creches in the windows of their houses and the village churches house further examples which are sourced from around the world. This year there are creches from assorted regions of France as well as from Russia, China, Peru, Greenland, Kenya, Cuba, Burkina Faso and many other countries.
A creche from Mexico
The tradition is now 17 years old and is organised by a committee of just 12 people. The creches are made using a huge variety of materials and are all sizes – the smallest is the size of a duck’s egg, while the biggest is life size. They are fashioned from clay, wood, stone, dried grass, plastic (there is a Playmobile crèche), eggs, corn-on-the-cob (yes, really), paper, fabric, knitting, soft toys……and they are displayed in windows, doorways, the corners of gardens and purpose build display cases throughout the village.
Six eggs in an egg box
The exhibition started on December 18th and runs until tomorrow - January 1st, with the churches also open to diplay the creches on Epiphany Sunday - January 8th.
A Basque country creche
We have a house for sale in the heart of the village - it is the one with the corn-on-the-cob creche in the front window and over the Christmas period it has been trending as our most viewed property on Rightmove. It is a beautifully restored, double fronted stone house with (and this is very rare) a walled courtyard garden with a swimming pool. The property has so much outside space because it was once the place where the village's wine barrels were made.
Our Christmas No. 1 on RIghtmove - conveniently in the beautiful 'village of creches' called Castelmoron D'Albret
Happy New Year to everyone and may your 2017 be filled with good health and happiness