Sunday, 7 June 2009

An early pagan fire / Un feu païen d’avance

This pagan lighting of huge bonfires, especially in the Midi and in Catalunya, usually takes place on 24 June, midsummer day and the saint’s day of St John.  This year in Gabian we celebrated a couple of weeks early, by the river last night.  It was a beautiful evening with dark clouds clearing away and the setting sun lighting up the village.

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The Occitan flag was held up by a young fire service volunteer while 150 of us sang ‘Se Canta’ – an Occitan song, almost an anthem.  Then we had a meal of couscous and mergez (lamb sausages) cooked on a wood fire and quite a lot of red wine.  Later the bonfires were lit.  The tradition is that you jump over the fire, but these were a bit high for that!

Cette année à Gabian nous avons fêté la fête de St Jean en avance. Près de la rivière nous avons chanté 'Se Canta' – un chanson occitan. Puis nous avons mangé du couscous et des mergez grillés au feu de bois. Finalement, on a allumé les trois feus.




It was a full moon too.

La lune a été pleine à la fin de la soirée.




In the garden today, the leek flower is at last beginning to open / la fleur du poireau est enfin à la pointe de s'ouvrir.

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DSC06206 And we picked our first cucumber and two Lezignan sweet onions / et on a ramassé le premier concombre et deux oignons de Lezignan.


flowrgirl1 said...


Maggie said...

What a neat tradition! Thank you for sharing that.

I can't wait to see your leek flower. It looks like it will be amazing.

I noted with glee today that my Walla Walla onions are bulbing. It's funny- on television I like the fast-moving shows. But I am at least as enthralled, and probably more, by the slow-motion action in my garden.

Titania said...

A lovely evening to celebrate midsummer. In Switzerland we celebrate the first of August in a similar way. The early vegetables look as good as ever and I am sure taste wonderful!

Jan said...

I didn't know about the bonfire tradition, I shall have to look it up now! And those fires definitely look too big to leap over!

HappyMouffetard said...

Lovely to see the bonfires.
And that leek is fantastic - it looks like a garden statue. I wish I could sculpt, as I love the shape of it, just escaping out of its bud.