Saint Eloi, Saint Roch, Saint Jean festivals are very old
some traces can be found in Maillane and Châteaurenard during the 17th century. They have kept all their ritual aspects and are much more than a folk festival. They represent a living tradition handed down from our ancestors. Provençal language and the costume of Arles are very important in these mostly rural festivals.
Saint Eloi was first patron of goldsmiths and blacksmiths. He then became the patron of all the corporate bodies linked to horses and farmers.
The “carreto ramado” (leafy cart sometimes decorated with wheat) cavalcades are given in his honour.
The cart is pulled by draught horses harnessed in tandem (in single file). The number of horses may vary between twenty if the cart goes into a gallop to more than fifty for a walking parade.
- Horses are harnessed in the “Saracen” way :
bridles and collars richly ornate with wool tassels
pompoms and feathers with nice blue, garnet, yellow colours …
little inlaid mirrors, jingle bells.
Every horse is hold by a carter, member of the confraternity and traditionally wearing a white shirt and blue trousers. On the horses, women and young girls wear the costume of Arles for the occasion.
These festivities are held from the middle of June until the beginning of September in different villages of the Provence of Mistral between Rhône, Alpilles and Durance.
You are cordially invited to these events and you will keep excellent memories of these moments.
Saint Eloi Festival in Graveson : last weekend in July