Le Quatorze Julliet (July 14th) is a day of celebration in France. Fête Nationale (aka Bastille Day) marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unification of the French people in 1790.
In our region of Provence (the Vaucluse) there were fig, melon and apricot festivals. In Coromb at the Fig Festival, local producers were selling all things fig--fig confiture (jam), fig crêpes, fig trees and fig tapenade.
Who knew that there are over 500 varieties of fig? Black figs, white figs, striped figs--all ripe and sweet, and ready to eat! Fig trees grow wild in Provence and it is not uncommon to see huge trees bursting with fruit on the side of the road.
In Bédoin, the village square was filled with dining tables, live music and dancing, carnival rides and even a roulette table! The party went on into the late hours of the night. Here kids and adults alike party until 2am. Seeing toddlers out with their parents at 1am is a concept that took some getting used to, but they seem to have a great time and no one is worried about getting up early the next day.
And while it is always fun to participate in another culture's holiday, we have the happy coincidence of also being able to celebrate my wife's birthday on the same day. To celebrate her birthday we had a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant called La Colombe that we have been wanting to try. We highly recommend it if you are here for a visit--great food and lovely ambiance.
As we close in on our first year in Provence we continue to be amazed at the abundance of the land, the welcoming nature of the people, and the joyful simplicity of life. It feels at once new and timeless, but most of all, it feels like home.
Did you celebrate Bastille Day? Let us know how!
All photos © 2015 Ken Wallace Films LLC. All rights reserved.