The fair is an event that is held temporarily in the traditionally defined places for the purpose to display and sell the products of one or many species. Even in the Middle Ages the fairs were held in well-defined and well-protected places (usually in the castles or monasteries), in the places of trade routes during the festive holidays. The right to organize and to conduct seasonal sales in the market was given by the king, count, or another high-ranking official, and it was regulated by the City or the Market Rules.
The main impetus to the development of fair activity falls on the XII century when the trading markets in France, England, the Roman Empire began to be promoted. The first popular fair in Western Europe was located in Saint-Denis near Paris in 629 (founded by the King Dagobert), and it was called Foire de Saint Denis. Already in 710 there were gathering over 700 merchants, and in the XI century the fame into fashion as an essential attribute of any area, since it was possible not only to buy the necessary goods there, but also to communicate with the merchants from different regions and learn the latest news.
Closer to our time the fairs started to be held together with the exhibitions, and as a result, the fair is now presented as a temporary event which is located in the same place in order to attract a larger number of representatives of the wholesale trade, show the samples of the products, and consumers cheerfully ready to buy them.
It is with the arrival of warm spring the fairs popular in Provence begin their work - the central squares are filled with noise and bright colours, and sellers set small shelves near each other placing interesting products. Thus, in small towns it is often possible to get to the fair where there are absolutely different things, ranging from food, drinks, books, and to the hand-made items, or clothing. So that the visitors are not bored the dance entertainments, music, contests are also organized.
Christmas fairs in Provence are very popular, and that is why every year at the end of December, they gather thousands of fans of entertainment and pleasant experiences. Craftsmen and artists, cooks and sellers, actors and dancers - all provide the guests with its products and services, so it is simply impossible to stay away from such an exciting holiday. The very preparation for Christmas in France starts in the late November - early December, and the required attributes to create a festive atmosphere are put on the shelves. The festive trade goes around Provence, but particularly interesting for tourists is to visit the gift fair in Mouans-Sartoux. On the Place Massena the skate-rink is equipped, sell the famous 13 Christmas desserts. The Place de l'Horloge in the city of Avignon is also popular. There every winter on the Christmas Eve one can hear the music and a lot of offers of vendors to buy the items made by their hands, to look at the large selection of wines, textiles, clay pots, souvenirs, and really feel the spirit of Christmas.