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Tarascon Fêtes de la Tarasque Festival for the Fun of It

Fêtes de la Tarasque

Don’t miss this quirky Provencal festival. There are dragons in the streets and much more to entertain all ages.

Tarascon Fêtes de la Tarasque

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.

Tarascon’s Characters

Tarascon is a city of tales and legends.

Discover the mythical (or was it?) water monster Tarasque that Sainte-Martha tamed. 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.

Tarascon Fêtes de la Tarasque

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.

Tourist Information

Office Municipal de Tourisme de Tarascon (website)
Le Panoramique
Avenue de la République
13150 Tarascon
Tel:+33 (0)4 90 91 03 52

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Margo Lestz

Margo Lestz

Margo is a British/American who has lived in Nice, France for the past nine years. She loves digging into the history of an area and discovering the tales behind local customs and traditions. She blogs about her discoveries on The Curious Rambler . She is also the author of two books, French Holidays & Traditions, and Curious Histories of Nice, France. Click here for Margo's books.

She describes herself as a perpetual student and is always taking some kind of course or researching a moment in history that has caught her fancy. She’s curious by nature and always wondering who, what, why, when, where, and how.

Margo shares her adventures (and her questions) with Jeff, her husband of many years. She enjoys travel, history, observing cultures and traditions – and then writing about them, of course.

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