This French Christmas character, the ‘whipping father’, said to accompany Santa on his rounds on 6th December, is fortunately no longer heard of much in French tradition.

Fire risk in winter   Noticed a few controlled fires around the region recently? Despite lower temperatures, rain, and storms, firemen are still called out several times to deal with winter fires, mainly caused by…

Prat is the Catalan word for prairie or meadow. Prats de Mollo, for example, is so called after Mollo, a village over the border in Spain, whose land was where Prats de Mollo is now, hence the prairies of Mollo.

Le Poilu, informal term for a French World War I infantryman, and literally meaning ‘hairy one’ was also used to describe soldiers in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte. (The term ‘grognard’ (grumbler) was also common.)…

It was recently revealed that the former ‘maison Mazard’ in Le Soler, now destroyed, was a safe house for Dutch refugees, Jews and resistance members fleeing the nazis in the 1930s.

Many are the stories of ‘encantades’ or ‘bruixas’, (witches) in the history of the P-O, and believers in witchcraft protected themselves with a variety of different methods, including painting their windows blue, keeping bread in the drawer, washing undergarments in water from seven different sources, never leaving nail clippings or cut hair on the floor, putting their shirts on backwards…..

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