Saturday, June 11, 2011

Medieval Festival in Photos + Some Words

{ancient stone walls}

It seems like ages ago that I promised to tell you about our village's Medieval Festival. So much happened in between that and now. A trip to Le Petit Village, a long weekend, rain and more rain, and fresh cherries begging to be used up.

I'm making good on that promise today.
{ancient knight by day, wine farmer by night}

The kids and I walked up to centre ville where the mairie, church and ancient stone buildings all are. I love this part of our suburban town because despite all the new houses, big grocery stores and newer parts of town, it retains the feeling of a small French village, what it was like before being simply an adjunct to Montpellier. I love to jog through these quiet streets early in the morning, taking in the Frenchness of it all in peace.

{dancing ladies, not afraid of witches}
The day of the festival this quiet old quarter was buzzing with people dressed in Medieval clothing, booths selling ale and wine and cheese. I couldn't stop thinking of Samantha, cast to medieval times by a goofed up spell, frantically searching for Darren in the crowds. I love how she always had on that little heart necklace no matter where she was.
There's a small mas that makes wine, snugly tucked in one of the old stone enclaves and they were there displaying bottles of pink that you can buy at the super huge grocery store any day of the week.
{skinny juggler}
 There was a children's section with medieval games of mental acuity; cousins of chess. We meandered, bought cotton candy (how medieval) and smelled homemade soaps. We watched as the 'animal man' showed us his bear, wolf and falcon. The crowd of on-lookers, little kids on shoulders, all hushed when he told us to be still and quiet when the bear came out. Nathalie, the bear. She gave him tickly bear kisses on his neck as we all looked on in silence.

{medieval mind games are cool}
Then there was the battle. Mild-mannered French men turned wicked medieval knights.
The Middlest loved it. He pushed himself right up against the metal barriers and watched in awe.
The battle began with a woman being pulled and dragged out into the middle of the arena, accused of being a witch. All of this I got. Then the iron clad pharmacists and retired computer salesmen fought over her fate.
{what did you have for lunch?}
Later the Middlest told me that one of the men said he would take her home and 'make sexy with her'. This was my son's translation. Not interested in being a medieval woman, I can tell you. Moving on...this is not a politically charged post DSK. But I am a bit curious as to how my 7 year-old knows 'make sexy' in French.

The two factions battled it out, swords drawn, dramatic falling, long, slow deaths, cheering from the frenzied mob.

We walked home happy, full of stories to tell Mon Mari who couldn't be bothered to go to the festival and stayed home watching some contemporary form of jousting--rugby. In my opinion, he's afraid of medieval after knowing an interesting couple who loved the Renaissance festival a little too much.

The next day at the grocery store an elderly French man started chatting to the Baby and me. He asked if we'd been to the festival and proudly pointed out his costumed photo on the advertising placard that still stood in the store entrance, 'That's me there...from last year. Maybe you saw me yesterday?' Yes, sir maybe I did.


  1. I love these festivals. We have one near here in Sully that's becoming more and more impressive every year.
    I'd like to get medieval on some folks sometimes.

  2. Now that sounds like some real fun. Except for the part where you have to ask middlest to explain if he really knows what 'make sexy with' means. Perhaps he's just been watching Borat?

  3. Great post. We are off to Europe in a few days and plan to stop in Carcassonne, on our way to Spain, but I doubt they can duplicate what just happened in your village near Montpellier. How much fun for your kids! Loved the contrast between the [skinny juggler] and the [knight/wine merchant]! ;-) - Will be blogging during my French travels this summer. Hope you come and visit. Merci et a bientot. Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

  4. Dedene,
    I know the feeling.

    Scary, huh? What are they teaching him?

    Have a wonderful holiday. I'm sure you're up to your eyeballs in preparations but I will be sure to keep up with you through your blog. Have you been to Carcassone before? Just cause there's a wonderful restaurant just outside that I can whole-heartedly recommend. Chateau Cavanac. Dinner on weeknights and I think Sunday lunch. If you need more info feel free to send me a message.
    aidan x

  5. Don't you think Le Petit Village needs one of these???
    And I can't stop laughing at Middlest's translation... make sexy... love it! x

  6. You made me laugh with the mental image of iron-clad pharmacists and computer salesmen, not to mention "making sexy". That's one way to put it. Oy.


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