Christmas traditions

As in many homes around the world, the Christmas holidays are eagerly awaited by the island's inhabitants.
The Advent period is used to make Christmas presents, to meet up at the Ajaccio Christmas Market with friends...

At the Tourist Office we are even organising a glitter and rhinestone day for Christmas, if you want to see our lights on, follow us on our social networks 😉

Why don't we take this opportunity to tell you how we celebrate Christmas in the Ajaccio region?


Christmas [NATALE], a family celebration

The 24th and 25th of December are spent with the family around a good table filled with local and seasonal products. Here the cabri (or lamb) replaces the turkey with chestnuts.

The dessert is accompanied by corsican clementines. This citrus fruit, characteristic of the autumn/winter season, is recognisable by its small size and green leaves. In 2007, it obtained the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

The clementine is associated with the end-of-year celebrations because it is often found in baskets of Christmas sweets (chocolates, petits fours) or dried fruit from which people pick throughout the day....


The transmission of the Ochju prayer

Ochju refers to bad luck. Ochju means "eye", a person suffering from ochju has what is called the evil eye. The only way to get rid of it is to "get signed" by a signadore (we say "to get the eye or the ochju"). This consists of a secret prayer that can only be learned on the evening of December 24th.

To protect oneself from the evil eye, one wears coral or a hand that makes horns.


Babbu Natale [Father Christmas].

Whether we still believe in him or not, Father Christmas remains THE central character of the end of the year.

Did you know that the song " Petit Papa Noël ", the hit of December, was sung by a native of Ajaccio? Yes, Tino Rossi was born in the rue Fesch (not far from the Fine Arts Museum). He was buried in the marine cemetery of Ajaccio, located on the road to the Sanguinaires Islands. It is on this same road that he had his family house built; at the end of the Marinella beach (which he also sang about).


The tree and the cot

The Christmas decorations are very important. Particular attention is paid to the cot.

It is not uncommon to marvel at the nativity scene when you arrive at your grandparents' house (even after a certain age). In addition to the traditional nativity scene, there is a meticulous reconstruction of a village.
If you look closely, you can sometimes even recognize houses from your own village, lined with moss freshly picked up from the scrubland...


The essentials for preparing a good festive meal

The best way is to go to Ajaccio market to buy the ingredients you need for your recipe: fish, vegetables and fruit in season...

Don't hesitate to visit the fine and organic grocery shops, as well as our wine merchants. They will not fail to advise you on the best products to match your food and wine (to be consumed in moderation) perfectly...

PSClick on the video and discover a traditional Corsican recipe...


It only remains for us to wish you a Bon Natale [Merry Christmas] and a Good Capu d'Annu [happy new year]!

And, just in case Babbu Natale drops a plane or boat ticket to Ajaccio in your shoes, we'll leave you with some ideas for places to stay right here....