The 4th December is the day to be in Saumur. It’s the Marché de Noël de la Rue St Nicolas. The shopkeepers and the Associaton of Saumur and Boats of the Loire honour their patron saint, St. Nicholas for the 13th year.
Magicians, organ music, balloon sculptures, the clown Camembert and a puppet theatre for the children, are just some of the attractions.
No doubt Saint Nicholas with be there with Père Fouettard.
For those who are not familiar with Le Père Fouettard, he is a character who accompanies St. Nicholas in his rounds during St. Nicholas’ Day (6 December) dispensing lumps of coal and/or floggings to the naughty children while St. Nick gives gifts to the well behaved.
So watch out for Le Pere Fouettard! (French for The Whipping Father). It sounds naughty and slightly politically incorrect nowadays.
The illuminations will be sparkling and you will be tempted by some wonderful foods and presents.
– 11h : The beginning of the Fete and offer of an apéritif géant. Arrival by the River Loire of Saint-Nicolas and Père Fouettard.
– 16h : Hot chocolate and pain d’épice for the children.
For those fascinated by Pere Fouettard, there’s more here on wikipedia.
…. and a link for children who would like to colour a picture of Père_Fouettard