Bastille Day - Running of the Bulls
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Bastille Day - Running of the Bulls Saint-Remy-de-Provence Reviews
Revolutionary Romps Jul 14, 2005
BASTILLE DAY - RUNNING OF THE BULLS
St-Rémy-de-Provence & Maussane-les-Alpilles
Every July 14, all France celebrates Bastille Day. In 2005, I was fortunate to experience "une manifestation tuarine" (the running of the bulls) in both St-Rémy-de-Provence and Maussane-les-Alpilles.
Both towns have day-long festivities, but the highlight for each is the running of the bulls celebration. Unlike their famous counterparts in Pamplona, Spain, event organizers take care that no bulls or people are hurt.
In St-Rémy-de-Provence and Maussane-les-Alpilles, the bulls storm the main street. This commemorates the people’s storming of the Bastille in 1789, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the eventual overthrow of an oppressive monarchy.
Both towns prepare similarly for the occasion. A group of men tie metal guard rails on all sides of the street. Then, a large enclosed truck backs up to a barricade on one end. To ensure everyone’s safety, they lash more of these metal rails to the truck.
The crowd gathers and enjoys the pre-running reverie. When the appointed time comes and everything is ready, a man opens the end of the truck. Immediately, several bulls explode down the ramp and charge down the street a few blocks to barricades at the far end. The riders accompany the animals, guiding the bulls if necessary. After a few minutes, the animals rush back and are herded into the same truck by the barricade.
Afterwards, everyone continues the merriment long into the night… and that’s no bull! :-D
Part of the Marseille, France (Provence) - July 2005 travel blog
Part of the list Off-The-Wall List
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