Best events of the off-peak season

“Les Tripettes” feast in Barjols

This religious feast takes place each year around mid-January. It is also known as the feast of Saint Marcel and commemorates the arrival in Barjols of the holy relics of Saint Marcel, patron saint and guardian of the village. “La Grande Marcel” or “la Petite Marcel” small or great feast continues to be celebrated up to this day as it has been since the 14th century.

The originality of this feast remains the famous dance of the “Les Tripettes” where everybody jumps up and down in place during the processions, the Grand Bal and also in the Collegial Church.
The festivities start on Saturday morning and continue throughout the weekend with fyfe-and-drum groups, dancers in Provençal costume and the other participants and various groups in period costume etc.

the history of

“ Saint Marcel was born in Avignon in the early fifth century. At the age of 80, on his return from Rome where he had wanted to see the pope and exhausted from the long journey, he stopped at the monastery of St Maurice near Montmeyan, a village in the north of Provence, where he died and was buried. His tomb became a site of pilgrimage and soon miracles began to occur, he was thus proclaimed saint. But in 1349, the abbey began to fall into ruins. St Marcel appeared in a dream one night to the only remaining guard on the premices and asked him to take his remains to a more dignified place. The towns of Barjols and Aups at once both laid claim to the holy relics ”

The St. Vincent wine fair in Saint-Maximin

This wine fair takes place each year on the last Sunday of January and gathers together all the best Vins de Provence appellations and is also an honour to Saint Vincent, the patron saint of winegrowers.

High mass in the basilica followed by a procession, wine contests, brotherhoods, fashion shows, tastings, workshops ... you can discover all this throughout the day during this unmissable event. Enjoy strolling through the other different stands of regionally produced products : honey, Tapenade, truffles, olive oil, nougat, bread, cakes, figs ...

The “Rosé de Saint Vincent”
Wine Contest

“ The jury of this recent contest consists of consumers and wine lovers.
In 2014 the jury met on the morning of the fair and blind tasted four wines which were all given the Millésime 2014 and 2013 award. ”

The trade fair of Brignoles

This fair takes place every year in April and lasts one week. It has been held for quite a number of years and remains one of the oldest and most important trade fairs of the Provence Alpes Côte d\'Azur region.

Initially an agricultural trade fair, it has now expanded its offer and visiters can find a big variety of products and food from all over Europe ... Make your visit a family day out and visit the farm and the children\'s fairground where you can treat yourself to the famous Chichi Fregi (long doughnut perfumed with orange flower water) or Churros. Take advantage of enticing bargains and fair offers ...

The wine

“ This competition has been held during the trade fair over the last fifty years with a constant increase each year in the number of participants and medals distributed.
In 2014, 784 samples coming from the entire Provence Alpes Côtes d\'Azur region, Corsica and Roussillon were tasted by 240 professionals. ”

Medieval fair “De la Quinzaine” in Saint-Maximin la Sainte Baume

Troubadours, knights, medieval fire shows, people dressed in period costumes, exhibitors ... Have fun and step back in time to the Middle Ages during a weekend in April or early May. This annual fair is one of the town\'s most important and popular event. Called the “Fête de la Quinzaine” because this fair traditionally takes place 15 days after Easter.

Whether you come as a prince, a beggar, a rich merchant, a knight, a soldier, a nobleman or a lady in waiting ... everyone is welcome to join the festivities and attend the costumed parade, shows by professional troupes of medieval performers, conferences, tournaments and Medieval combat demonstrations.

Just a few key figures
concerning the fair

“ In 2015 Saint Maximin La Sainte Baume held their 735th fair.
A total of 90 exhibitors, 3 taverns, 4 encampments, 3 troupes of strolling performers and no less than 292 bales of straw were scattered throughout the historic part of the town. ”

Gourmands weekends

The plum fair of Brignoles takes place late August during the feast of St. Louis. Each year the town celebrates its heritage linked to this fruit and attracts quite a number of local producers and craftsmen who come with a wide range of plum-based and other food products and crafts.

The chestnut festival in Camps-la-Source takes place on the third Sunday of October and offers a large variety of chestnut-based and other local and regional food products : roast chestnuts, honey, nougat, olive oil, chestnut jams, wines and cured meats and charcuterie ... Another event taking place on the same Sunday is the famous Cotignac quince festival which puts a highlight on its emblematic fruit. Stands and entertainment all over the village and local producers selling all kinds of quince related products.

History of the plum-growing
in Brignoles

“ Plum production ceased in the sixteenth century when the lord of Vins sur Caramy and major landowner of the town of Brignoles provoked the anger of the townspeople by refusing to pay his taxes. They ransacked his lands and cut down all the trees in his orchards resulting in the loss of this major occupation in Brignoles. Brignoles plums can still be found but they are now grown in Digne.
One plum tree survived this disaster as it was hidden in the rectory garden and would have survived over the centuries had someone taken its best branches and multiplied the forgotten species. ”

The Rians pumpkin festival

This festival takes place each year in the village of Rians during the second weekend of October and celebrates rural life and the harvest season using a unique pumpkin theme. Over the recent years it has become one of the region\'s major attractions and has delighted a great number of visiters from far and wide.

Throughout the weekend you can stroll through the coloured stands of autumn and winter squash of the genus Curcubita : Fairytale pumpkin “Musquee de Provence”, Pattypan, Butternut, Amber cup, Autumn cup, Spaghetti squash etc. of all shapes and sizes, seed suppliers, delicious food and creative crafts stalls. Each stall holder and activity with its own flavour of a traditional country fair full of fun, colour and imagination for all the family.

Rians\' largest
Cucurbit contest

“ This contest has taken place since the creation of the festival and now attracts no less than 40 competitors each year.
The heaviest pumpkin weight of 225.6kg was recorded in 2008
Two other important festival contests include the most unusual pumpkin and the best pumpkin pie. ”

The Santons fair in Saint-Maximin

This major annual Santons fair takes place during the third weekend in November and announces the opening of the Christmas season. Each year a great number of visitors come and soak up the sweet festive atmosphere of one of the region\'s best Santons markets to buy these Christmas crib figurines from some of Provence\'s leading artisan Santonniers.

During this weekend the Couvent Royal becomes the venue of some of the most renowned artisans and creators of these little terracotta Christmas crib figurines coming from the entire Provence Alpes Côte d\'Azur region. You can also stroll through stalls of hand- made jewelry, enamels, ceramics, articles made from olive wood and pewter etc..., beautiful ideas for gifts to put under your Christmas tree.

The Basilica and the Royal Convent
of Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume

“ This basilica is one of the largest Gothic buildings in Provence. The beginning of the construction work on this important edifice began simultaneously to that of the Royal Convent which was to accommodate a community of Dominican friars. In 1791 the friars were expelled and theirs cells converted into prison cells. This convent of royal foundation is now the property of the Conseil General of the Var department and is a prestigious hotel which also houses the the local tourist information office. ”

Best events of the off-peak season : location of activity ideas