Le Fête du Temps Retrouvé can be badly translated as a festival of “time regained” or “time found again.” Essentially, it’s a festival that aims to transport you back to a bygone area that celebrates village community, savoir-faire (craftsmanship) and recreates the atmosphere of the previous century.
This heritage festival occurs every year at the end of August in the town of Maussane-les-Alpilles. I have to say that it’s one of my favourite festivals. It’s usually on the last Sunday of the month. If you miss it, there is also a similar festival called Journée à l’Ancienne in Eygalières in the Autumn.
Le Temps Rétrouvé is mostly on the Main Street in Maussane-les-Alpilles where you’ll find all the stores have stands in front of them celebrating traditional craftsmanship. For example, even the hairdresser is dressed in vintage clothes and has a display of beautiful vintage scissors and shaving implements. You can easily spend the day wandering the stalls, having a pastis at the local café and people watching. See end of article for more festivals in Provence.
Fête du Temps Retrouvé in Pictures
Traditional Costumes at the Heritage Festival
In addition to the parade animated by Provençal folk groups, locals also dress up in traditional costume. However, this isn’t necessarily only Arlésiennes (stunning costumes of Arles) and Gardians (The keepers of the bulls in the Camargue), the costumes are representations of everyday workers as well. For example, the tradition it do to dress up as whatever trade your grandparents were involved in. My neighbours were shopkeepers but dressed up as shepherds as that was what their grandfather had done. A tip– when you’re speaking in French never use the verb ” se deguiser” (to dress up/disguise yourself) for dressing in traditional costume. Use the verb “s’habiller” (to get dressed) instead. The traditional costumes are a source of pride, especially for the Arlésiennes who take hours preparing their outfits. I’ve been corrected!