One of the most original festivals in Provence!
Since 17 January 1350, the Barjolais have been celebrating Saint Marcel, the patron saint of their village, with dignity. This festival takes place on the weekend closest to the saint’s day, i.e. the weekend closest to 16 January, and it gives rise to two days of colourful celebrations!
A costumed procession with bravadores, galoubets and tambourines marches through the town.
At the centre of the procession, a ribboned ox is led to the church by its procession of butchers and cooks. Blessed in front of the church, it is walked through the streets of the town and is put to death in the evening.
The next day, a great mass is held in the Collegiate Church, and the bust of Saint Marcel is carried through the streets of the village. Then the beef is put on a spit and roasted on the Cours in the middle of general jubilation: the detonations of the bravaders’ guns alternating with the tune of the tripettes danced by all. In the evening, the beef is eaten!
The festival in its current form only kills the beef every 4 years.