Dancer at the Fesitval

The Chefs with their Calissons on the way to the church to be blessed.

The first Sunday in September of each year is the time in Aix for the Blessing of the Calissons, that fantastic almond flavored candy made in Aix. Although it originally came from Italy, it has been made in France since 1474 when it was first prepared for King Rene. There has been a blessing ceremony since the 1600's and the candy is believed to be good for your health and for keeping evil away.
The festival itself started with a presentation of tradition Provencal dancing with performers in costume. They then all marched to the church led by chefs carrying a Madona with child and another group carrying a large container of calissons to be blessed in the church. Afterwards free samples were given out. It was well worth the trip to Aix to observe.
Photos at