To-day was the town-feast of the Mi-Carême
. It is an old feast to celebrate the coming of the spring
. And for the first time of the year, the sun was a little warm, but then it did rain two times. After one of the rain Jeanjean
went to the stage
where sits the mayor and his councellors, and Jean-jean had to run home (to the feast hall). It rained one other time at the end of the defile before the Gilles
came. Yes, in Pont-sur-Sambre
we have both : a giant and Gilles
. Old town feasts of the North of France
, like carnival parades (défilés carnavalesques) with Gilles or giants of drageons, like all people who work for it and those who look at the parades are part of the non material cultural heritage of mankind of the UNESCO
(So, when I'm looking at the feasts of my town and singing with the parade music, I am part of the immaterial heritage of mankind (Hmm!). The custom of the Gilles
(these men with the big white hats and the straw in their clothes which make them to look fat and the custom of the burning of the Gilles
straw and the custom of the Giants
are coming from a very old time, when North of France
and Belgium was under the spanish crown. The spanish brought this customs from South America and from other people like the Incas
. The giants are to be found also in some parts of Spain. Here to-day they burnt a straw Gilles at the end of the feast, but before they changed it with a straw Gilles there were a lively Gilles on the straw-cock and all around where a circle of fire. The Gilles dance around the Circle of fire. And then when the straw all around is burnt they change the really man who is still alive, with a false man of straw and burnt the straw-cock with the straw-man.
I find the music which was played on the street was especially melancolic and nostalgic. We had also a group of the carnival of Dunkerque (very kind people) who played on Fifres (a sort of little flute which sounds like a tin-whistle but which is bigger. And this music was nostalgic. At the end of the feast the music which acommpagny the Gilles was also nostalgic, and people sang together to the music, without words (and I sang also, so I'm also part of the mankind heritage), I had no film more in my camera to photograph the end of the feast with the "Brulâge des Bosses" (Burning of the straw Gilles) ans so I didn't make one of the beautifulest photos of my life I could make to-day : just when the fire stopped and the Gilles left the place on the main road, there where a double rainbow behind the enigmatic tower of the XVII century, of the time when the North of France was spanish. No photo. But it was a magic time... and also if every night we are hearing the sound of very far thunderstorms (the thunderstorms are in the region of Fourmies), we are sure that with such a rainbow the spring is coming now, but the spring comes very late this year.
In May there's the town-feast of the town of Berlaimont four kms from here and they have a drageon, the Bouzouc. Until this day I shall have perhaps a numeric camera.
(Updated in September : No, I get no numeric camera for my birthday).
Perle de Rosée.