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We are planning to spend new year at our house in Aude (specifically Quillan), I have a couple of questions that hopefully you can help me with. They are:

1. Are there usually any fêtes or organised festivities at that time or year?

2. Do shops generally open between Christmas and new year?

Thanks for your help.

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Welcome to the mad house that is the South East Forum!!

Christmas and New Year in the Aude are totally unlike the UK except for the weather which can be a little unpredictable!

Shops shut early on Christmas Eve, but Boxing day is business as usual. EVERYTHING is shut on Christmas Day.

Fetes - there were one or two around last Christmas when we were down, mainly Carcassonne and Perpignan for the big Christmas Markets.

New Year's Eve is the BIG event with most restaurants offering umpteen course meals and entertainment - BUT you have to book early, so unless you're going to be there around November time or know someone who can book for you, you won't get in....

We too, will be in the Quillan area over Christmas - our 3rd one down there as we absolutely love the non-commercialism of it all! If you want anymore info - send us a message to our private box with your email on and we'll let you know what we can....


Jo and Terry

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It comes as a relief to find this posting. Up till now I'd been convinced Christmas was a non-event for France generally, and the south east in particular - seemingly an area largely untouched by the delights of bread sauce,Christmas pud,brandy sauce, ridiculous party hats and the traditional Boxing day hangover.

The coming Christmas is likely to be our last in Blightie for some time to come, so lets have more info please. What delights are in store during a Noel Quillanaise?


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Last year was our first christmas here as residents and expected to pass a `quite day`(with our 2 girls!!!!) planning to go to Argeles port and plage for a promenade whilst our Joint cooked,then watch some tv(satelite was our prezzie to all of us)

Well we did all of the above ,and very enjoyable too....except our dinner was not quite the same....no crackers to pull, no I hadn`t forgotten to buy them whilst in the UK in November....I had taken them to a neighbours house on Christmas eve,which was a last minute invite when they realised we had`nt any family here to go to,The crackers went down a storm and I intend to buy some more when I visit my dad in blighty for half term in October.

There must have been 30 members of the family all mucking in with various dishes for nibbles and the main course and It was really lovely to be asked to be part of it.

Apart from that It was all back to normal the day after christmas.....not much change there then for me ,having worked in a supermarket for 10 years...christmas and Easter being the one time of the year you were threatened not to be ill!

But that said every village and town was beautifully dressed up.

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A novel event in our village is the spectacle of the Christmas tree lights which are expertly wired in to the overhead mains cables and jointed with electricians tape. Modern technology at it's forefront !!!! We are now taking advance orders for P*xo stuffing and X-Mas puds which we can deliver in 11.... I suppose you want Crackers as well? Or do you just want stuffing?



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will collect my own crackers on my visit to UK at the end of this month....oh the thoutht of that cold weather,I am not at all comfortable under 16 degrees.....third degree frostbite sets in then!   as for stuffing I prefer to make my own,stale bagette,onion garlic milk herbs and plenty of pepper ,lovely.

We also have the benefit of techno light fitters...but they work, will be taking the girls to Blackpool illuminations when we are in UK,lets see how many bulbs are out....

will be bringing loads of sultanas etc to make some christmas cakes , arn`t they expensive here for a tiddly packet,our girls enjoy them for their gouters and a pack goes nowhere.

Just an add on that france doesnt start with the preparations as early as UK...went to Lidl at Prades yesterday.,they have stollen,Panetone,and those lovely little chocies that are like minature christmas crackers....you know the ones,gone before you know it  mmmm had to resist as Rosemary conleys Ultimate workout keeps telling me I will have that body beatifull if I stick to the regime!

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