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Peach and Apricot festival Camargue South France

peach apricot festival france

 

The Peach & Apricot festival in the small town of Saint-Gilles-du-Gard in South France, is not a boring food festival. The annual Feria de la Peche et de l'Abricot is a huge festival in late August which takes over the whole of the town for 3 days long, bringing with it a carnival atmosphere to the historic old town on the edge of the Camargue. 

The 2024 Peach and Apricot festival will be held in Saint-Gilles-du-Gard on 23-25 August 2024. This year will be the 28th year of the festival. The Feria de la Pêche et de l'Abricot is the biggest festival of the year in Saint-Gilles-du-Gard. The festival features street processions, dancing and the famous White horses of the Camargue racing through the street.

It also has to be said that an important aspect of this festival in South France, is a large corridor or bull-fighting. I don't like bullfighting and I have never been to a bullfight or ever would. But if you have ever been to the Camargue, then you basically realise that it is made of 3 things: there are pink flamingos, white horses and black bulls. Add to this you have the local Camarguais, the farmers and ranchers who rear the bulls and ride the white horses. Bullfighting is an intrinsic part of their culture and tradition. 

 

peach apricot festival south france

 

I regularly get abuse from Animal Rights activists who somehow claim by reviewing local festivals in the South of France which feature bullfighting, I am somehow a supporter of bullfighting. The reality is, that 80% of this festival doesn't have anything to do with bullfighting and most of the people attending don't go to the bullfights. Are we supposed to pretend that these people don't exist and they are also some secret bull-fighting supporters. It is absurd.

 

 

St Gilles du Gard: gateway to the Camargue France

saint gilles du gard
Sitting on the edge of the Petite Camargue, South of France, the old town of Saint-Gilles is a pleasant place to wander around. St Gilles - or Saint-Gilles-du-Gard as it is officially known - is a lovely old town with some beautiful narrow windy streets. Through the centre of St-Gilles runs the Rhone-Sete Canal. The canal-side is now a busy place full of restaurants, shops and boat hire kiosks. The town also features a wonderful 12th Century Abbey Church, now a UNESCO World Heritage monument. One of St-Gilles' famous sons was Pope Clement IV who was born in the town and the site of his former home is now a museum. St-Gilles is located midway between Nimes and Arles, France. With a population of around 14,000, St-Gilles is the second largest town in the Camargue region. Nimes airport is located just to the north of St Gilles. For centuries, St Gilles has been known for its vast orchards, located on the fertile plain in between the Camargue and Nimes. In particular, the town is famous for its production of Peaches, Almonds and Apricots - hence the name of the festival.

 

St Gilles Feria de la Peche et de l'Abricot

peach apricot festival camargue

 

The Feria de la Peche et de l'Abricot (Peach & Apricot Festival) is a 3 day event that takes place in August. The festival features a number of street processions, horse riding show, dancing and the obligatory bull-fighting. The festival kicks off on Wednesday evening with a grand reception for the bull fighters. During Thursday evening, there is a procession of the bulls and matadors to the central bull fighting arena. Friday is when the main events really take shape, with a grand procession and local 'Gypsy' band playing in main square.

peach apricot festival camargue france

 

On Saturday, you can see a display of Camargue horsemanship, as the famous white horses of the Camargue are ridden through the streets at full speed in a tight pack formation. Saturday and Sunday is when the main bull fighting events take place. For more information on this South France festival and also Saint-gilles itself, please visit the Saint-Gilles website.

 

 

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