Tarascon Fêtes de la Tarasque Festival for the Fun of It
By Margo Lestz:
Fêtes de la Tarasque
Don’t miss this quirky Provencal festival. There are dragons in the streets and much more to entertain all ages.
We were preparing to leave Nice and fly back to London. And, just out of curiosity, I had a peek at what was going on in Provence. When I saw that the Tarasque Festival was taking place in Tarascon, I just had to go. So we changed our plane tickets, rented a car, and headed for Tarascon – the land of dragons. For four days at the end of June, local legends and fictional characters come back to life and parade through the town. Fêtes de la Tarasque is a family-friendly festival including parades, knights in armour, bull races, concerts and bodegas.
This video from the 2018 festival gives an overview of the festival:
Tarascon is a city of tales and legends.
Discover the mythical (or was it?) water monster Tarasque who was tamed by Sainte-Martha. Stories swirled of Tarasque a fire-breathing sea creature that had made its way up the Rhone River. The brute terrorized inhabitants of the settlement as it destroyed bridges, caused river traffic havoc and burned buildings. Legend has it that Martha of Bethany, who had arrived from Judea, in 49AD, to spread the teachings of Christianity, tamed the beast. However, the townsfolk then butchered the monster in revenge. In 2005, UNESCO included Tarasque on its list of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
French writer Alphonse Daudet lived near Tarascon. In 1872, perhaps influenced by Tarascon’s fables, he wrote about Tartarin of Tarascon. This fictional, bumbling lion hunter greatly exaggerated all his exploits. Regardless of his capabilities, Tartarin gets welcomed home from his adventures in regal style. According to Margo, his arrival was a highlight of the festive weekend.
Office Municipal de Tourisme de Tarascon (website)
Avenue de la République
Tel:+33 (0)4 90 91 03 52
…Continue reading here for the contributor blog post by The Curious Rambler