Siesta, then Fiesta! Summer in Languedoc

July is time for Fiesta. Here in our village, every July sees three mad days of celebration. But, it’s hot. It’s hot, Hot, HOT. You can’t sleep it’s so hot.

 

So, if you want to enjoy the three days of Féria, take that afternoon siesta when you can. You’ll need the extra energy to get you through the nights.

First Day of the Féria

The first day of Fiesta begins with games in the arena. A travelling company sets up their bull ring and apprentices from the bullfighting school in Béziers demonstrate their skills with the cape.

Fiesta bullfighting

a proper Paso Doble!

The young man in the photo above is a native of our village and, as you can imagine, raised great cheers from the crowd.

Fiesta crowd

young men admiring bull ring skills

This trainee matador also had female admirers. One young lady in front of me took off her hat and threw it into the ring at the end of his performance. Maybe her telephone number was tucked inside. Who knows?

He bowed and acknowledged her gesture of respect and admiration before returning her hat.

Another young trainee who raised hats from heads and bottoms from seats was a young lady!

female matador

brave female matador in training

There’s interesting history on the question of female matadors. Until 1975, women were banned from the top job. In 1999, Cristina Sanchez, Spain’s only female professional matador at that time retired after 10 years, blaming male attitudes for her decision. There’s more information on this subject here, on WikiGender.

And here’s a video about other women matadors:

 

There are strong arguments against bullfighting, but here at our fiesta, there are no kills. You have to admire the agility and elegance of these performers. That bull can weigh up to 700 kilos. You need guts to stand in front of that.

Oh, and by the way, that T on the boarding there? It doesn’t mean this is the way to the toilets.

bulls' entrance

Toro!

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