13 desserts on Christmas Eve

How traditionally do you celebrate Christmas? Maybe you feel like adopting a French tradition. In Provence, it is customary to eat no fewer than 13 desserts on Christmas Eve to end the Christmas dinner. Why 13? They represent Jesus and his 12 disciples.

The first 4 desserts are called the ‘quatre mendiants’ (the four beggars), named after the different monastic orders: dried figs for the Franciscans, almonds for the Carmelites, walnuts for the Augustinians and raisins for the Dominicans.

Then comes candied fruit that refers to the Magi from the East. You should also eat white and black nougat, a symbol for good and bad.

The other 6 desserts are free to fill in, although the Provençal bread fougasse is often on the table. It is of course broken by hand (you even have to, because if you cut the bread, it predicts bankruptcy).
Fresh fruit is also often part of the hallway. If you eat mandarin, you can make a wish that will come true in the coming year.

Bon appetit!