* Les Treize Desserts de Noel:
At Christmastime in Provence, in the south of France, there’s a tradition of having a Christmas meal consisting largely of vegetables, followed by 13 desserts. 13 signifies the number of people at the last supper – Christ and his 12 apostles. The table should be decorated with 3 candlesticks, representing the Trinity. The meal and dessert are eaten before the family goes to midnight mass on Christmas.
1. Black Nougats – Symbolizing evil – Hard candy made with honey and almonds.
2. White Nougats – Symbolizing good – Soft candy made with sugar, eggs, pistachios, honey, and almonds.
These four are supposed to symbolize beggars, represented by four religious orders (Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelite Nuns, Augustinians):
The symbol of Mary and Jesus’ safe journey from the East:
Some of the other desserts eaten, depending on the region, are:
Finally with these desserts, one drinks cooked wine, representing Jesus himself.
One must have a taste of each dessert to have good luck for the whole year.
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