Where should I go next?…
After introducing Nîmes in my last entry, I have more or less finished all the places that I want to write about in the South.
*For those that doesn’t bother reading “about”, I am now in Nantes, recently I have some free time and I decide to sort out these old trips. Some recent trips should be coming…
Anyway it is about time to start a new category, festival.
I will start with a big festival and we are still in Nîmes– the Feria de Nîmes. When we talk about the Feria de Nîmes, it is in fact two events. The more important one is the Feria de Pentecôte (Pentecost in English) which lasts 5-6 days in May and the second one is the Feria des Vendanges (wine harvest) which lasts only 3 days in mid-September.
While Nîmes is pretty much a main tourist site around the area, during the feria, the number of tourists reaches another level!
The main event is the bullfight.
There are the difference between Novilladas and Corridas. The first day of the feria is usually the Novillada which is a bullfight where the junior bullfighters who are still in training (novillero) fight bulls that are less than 3 years old or do not pass the bravery and stamina test (novillos) to gain experience. The rest of the feria will have two Corridas, the normal bullfight, per day in the arena.
I myself have attended one Novillada but to be honest I left after an hour… I just can’t feel the excitement about killing bulls.
Basically, a bull has to pass through a straight street guiding by several horses while some (I believe) volunteers will run after the bull and try to catch and stop it. It is a bit crazy to see a bull running right in front of you and it is crazier to see these people trying to catch it!
“Pégoulade”, which I do not have an exact word to translate but can roughly means a parade, is also a big event. We walked to the arena with the “giant” followed by a float parade.
Throughout the town, you can find Camargue animation, free street music and entertainment, or even joute (which I will introduce in my next entry). Besides, there are exhibitions related to the feria in the museums around the period if you prefer a quiet activity for a change.
And not to forget the outdoor restaurants, bars and shops along the main street around the arena, you can fill your stomach or buy some souvenirs whenever you want!
Well, what can I say, the feria has so many things to offer and is absolutely worth a visit.
Bon voyage à tous 🙂