Bastille Day in Provence
July 14th is the National Holiday of France (Bastille Day). To celebrate, you would think that in the spirit of Liberté, égalité, fraternité all French people would celebrate this holiday in the same way. But in Provence, it’s la sardinade…
Fireworks will be set off this evening in just about every village in the country; but of course, I love this country for it’s proud regional specialties.
For example, here in the Bouches du Rhône region of Provence, anywhere South of Pelissanne and Lambesc, villages celebrate with a Sardinade. This is of course a tradition that was started on the mediterranean coast. A Sardinade is a celebration typical of Provence where same-day caught sardines are grilled whole and served with French fries or bread and copious amounts of Rosé wine. There is generally always live music. Also, if you’re not into sardines there is often Paella and Pizza offered as well. My (4 euro) meal in Lambesc yesterday evening:
Anywhere more NorthWest than Aix en Provence and particularly in the adjoining region of Languedoc-Roussillion villages are celebrating with their own Bandidos (horsemanship displays) as well as Encierros (bull runs).
Many villages will pick the night of the 13th for their celebrations so that one may wake up for work (rather than dozing into the day while Pastis-infused) after the holiday. Villages next to each other also take turns. This way, all the nearby celebrations aren’t happening on the same evening.
So, wander into the nearest village or enjoy taking in the atmosphere of your city this evening. Hopefully there will be a sardinade. Lets hope the Mistral wind allows us to set off our fireworks!