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Nezignan Fig Festival in Languedoc South France

nezignan fig festival

 

The end of August brings with it the Fig Festival in Nezignan l'Eveque, which you can not miss - well we can't because it is right outside our front door. Nezignan l'Eveque is famous for its figs. Not an awful lot has happened in Nezignan l'Eveque over the years, but it is still a world renowned centre for Figs. This tiny little village near Pezenas grows more than 90 different varieties, as well as producing 30% of France's Nougat.

In celebration of this abundant local fruit, Nezignan l'Eveque holds an annual festival which brings together everybody from the village. The festival is usually held on the last weekend of August (usually around 25 August).

 

Fig Festival in Languedoc

nezignan fig festival becos figos

 

The Fig Festival takes place on Nezignan's Autour du Chateau - the ancient circular street on the small hill at the top of the village. The centre of the village was built around an old Roman fort, later turned into an Abbey. There is also a beautiful 10th Century church next to Autour du Chateau.

The Fig Festival is in effect like a village fête, encompassing small stalls selling homemade food, wine, olives and of course, all manner of jams, preserves and food made from figs. The festival also features a number of processions, led by the elders of the village, who are members of a society called the Becos Figos (or Fig Eaters). Apparently, this was an old term given to villagers who came from Nezignan l'Eveque, on account of the number of figs produced by the village

Now, when I used to play football for the Veterans of Nezignan l'Eveque - I should point out that none of us had seen active service, we were all just very fat and old - Becos Figos, was a source of much amusement. One drunken evening back at our apartment, about 4 members of the football team acquainted me with around 50 sexual slang terms in French. Well I can tell you that Becos Figos and Figs in general featured quite prominently amongst that list. I mean is there another country in the World which has more sexual slang terms than France?

Anyway, back to the Fig festival. There is also usually a local band playing during the day - either a traditional Jazz band or the local flute and drum band from Pezenas - and there is much drinking and eating. It is a very family friendly affair and generally good fun. I have to say that I usually head home when I see the appearance of the local Line Dancing group. The French are obsessed with bloody line dancing. You cannot go to a festival in France without falling over line dancers.

 

Nezignan l'Eveque village South France

nezignan l eveque south france

 

Nezignan l'Eveque is a small village, just 15 minutes inland from the Mediterranean coast in the old Languedoc region of Southern France. The village is located on a coastal plain in between Beziers and Montpellier and just 2 kms from the popular historic town of Pezenas. Nezignan l'Eveque is without doubt one of the prettiest villages in this part of Languedoc. With it's circular streets surrounding the old church, its old stone buildings, its main street lined with palm trees and the vineyards which encircle the village; it is a truly beautiful environment to live in.

The historic centre of the village is lovely to walk around, with many buildings dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. There was a Roman fort located on the hill in the centre of the village and the Roman Commander who built the fort, Nasiniano, gave his name to the village.

 

x nezignan fig

 

The village used to be dominated by an old Abbey and fortified castle and you can still see remnants of the old ramparts, the ancient hospital (on Rue de l'Hôpital), the wine cellars and tunnels under the streets and houses. Over time, the name of the village changed into Nezignan l'Eveque (or Nezignan of the Bishops), on account of the village becoming the summer residence of the Bishop of Agde.

When the Abbey was torn down after the French revolution, many of the stones were used to build the nearby houses. Nezignan l'Eveque became an important centre for Fig cultivation and wine making. The village is surrounded by vineyards and there are still winemakers active in the village.

 

Fig Festival Nezignan l'Eveque, South France

Dates: around 25 August

Venue: rue Autour du Chateau, Nezignan l'Eveque, 34120, France

Time: from 10.00 am to 14.00

 

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