|Camargue Gypsy Festival Provence
Camargue Gypsy Festival Provence The South of France
The Gypsy Festival, May
The Festival Honors Patron Saint Sarah, White Horses, and A Unique Lifestyle On the Rhone River Delta
During the Gypsy Festival in the Camargue, Gypsies from throughout Europe travel to Saintes Maries de la Mer to honor the legend of Sarah the Kali, a mythical woman who, legends claim, helped two Marys related to Christ, the Saintes Maries de la Mer.
In the vast pastures of the Camargue the Gardians raise the black bulls used in the bullrings of southern France and Spain.
Non lethal bullfighting of Provence
During the May festival, thousands of Gypsies travel to Saint Maries de la Mer, population 2,400, to carry the statue of their patron saint from the church and bring it to the beach. The Gypsies, accompanied by the Gardians on their white horses, bring the statue of their black saint to the Mediterranean Sea in an age old ritual.
The Camargue Gypsy Festival, Provence
Festival in the Camargue
In May the Gypsies travel from all over Europe to return to the wilds of the Camargue in the Rhone River delta to honor their Patron Saint Sara. The event becomes a festival in the seaside fishing village of Saintes Maries de la Mer, at the edge of the Mediterranean.
The Gypsy Festival is an annual event that sees the Gypsies join with the Camargue Gardians to celebrate history and legends. Visitors to the Camargue in the South of France during May will see the Gypsies joined by the Camargue Gardians, local men and women famous for their riding skill with the white Camargue horse, in a re-enactment of their age old legends.
On 24th and 25th of May, the celebrants will honor the women who, according to legend, arrived in Provence by boat in the year 40 AD after traveling from Jerusalem.
The festival starts with the honoring of the Patron Saint of the Gypsies, Sarah la Kali, with a parade to the beach and a symbolic return of the statue to the Mediterranean. The festival continues with another parade bringing the Saints Maries statues to the beach. Parades continue with the Camargue cowboys on their white horses, demonstrations of horsemanship, and bull events in the streets and arena.
- White Horses and Black Bulls
The chapel below the church Notre Dame de la Mer is a pilgrimage site for Gypsies
During many festivals in Southern Provence, bull events with the Camargue Gardians will take place
The Camargue Gardians herd the bulls through the streets of a Provence villages during bull festivals
The Camargue Gypsy Festival in Provence sees the Gypsies
of Europe join the Gardians and their white horses in a Camargue Festival to honor Sara-la-Kali and two Marys related to Christ. See Event Schedule
A Gypsy visitor honors the statue of Sarah the Kali at the chapel beneath Notre Dame de la Mer Church in Saintes Maries de la Mer,Provence,
Camargue Gypsy Festival Schedule:
The festival in the Saintes Maries de La Mer of the Camargue
brings together the Gypsies, the Camargue Gardians on white
horses and the black bulls.
They meet to honor the Gypsy Saint Sarah and two Maries
related to Christ, the Saintes Maries de la Mer.
On May 24th at 10 am the ceremony starts withe Mass in the church.
At 4 pm the Gypsies carry the statue of the black St Sarah to the
shores of the Mediterranean as they honor their patron Saint.
On May 25 at 11 am the statues of Saint Mary Jacobe and Saint
Mary Salome are brought to the shore.
On May 26 bulls run through the street escorted by the Camargue
Gardians on the white Camargue horses. An afternoon of
Camargue horse events and Provence bull events honors the
Marquis de Baroncelli.
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Camargue Gypsy Festival
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The Camargue Horse ridden by the Gardians when they manage the black bulls used in the bullrings.
The Camargue bull festival in Provence includes running the bulls through the streets.