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.

On a plateau of the Corbières, near Salses, with panoramic views of sea and lagoon, visible from the A9 motorway and the N9, stands the “Porta dels Països Catalans”, or ‘Gate to the Catalan Countries’.

In many regions of France, the ritual gathering of mushrooms in the autumn (but also spring spring and summer depending upon the weather), is a culture in itself. Whole families or groups of friends make a day of it, and head off ‘à la recherche des champignons’

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