Fête des Gardians
Le Fête des Gardians is the annual festival in Arles celebrating the lifestyle and traditions of the gardians. Gardians are basically the French, more refined, version of cowboys that rear bulls for delicious daube provençal. There’s an enormous parade, blessings of the animals, a queen of Arlésiennes is elected and to top it all off there’s a 4-hour long spectacle at the antique Roman arena involving horsemanship games and bull running.
The first of May is also the day where you’ll be expected to buy ‘muguets’ or ‘clochettes du porte bonheur’ (lily of the valley) in honour of French labour day.Here are some pictures of the events in Arles.
Great people watching as the locals take their dressing up quite seriously! I loved wandering the ancient streets of Arles while watching the white horses and impressive skills of the riders. I think Robin preferred checking out the famous Arlésiennes….
Last year we went to the stadium to see all the games that celebrate this way of life. The bulls are of course exciting (don’t worry- they don’t spear or kill the bulls) but my favourite display was when 2 riders had to get an armband off each other. The way in which they had complete control of their horses was quite impressive!