Panier of Plenty

Céret de Toros

Les Arcades

Les arcades

Colours of Céret

Colours of Céret

Giant platains

Towering platains

6pm. Banners and flags are flying; barriers and security guards are in place; bands doing their last sound checks and crowds starting to flood in, draped with neck scarves in Céretane colours (blue and white). Socks are Catalan – striped red and yellow (sang et or, blood and gold). Bodegas are lighting their grills… the smell of sizzling ‘saucisse Catalan’ fills the air.

Swimming team bodega

Swimming team bodega

Doors and windows are taped and barred. There is a frenzy of last-minute activity in the attempt to protect shop fronts. Bar glasses have been exchanged for plastic cups. The sun beats down on the cobblestoned rues, between the shadows cast by the giant platains that are so characteristic of the centre ville.

At the arena, the bulls are in sealed enclosures with viewing windows and a notice requesting silence. Catalan flags are proudly on display. Three corridas highlight the weekend of festivities for the this year’s féria.

L'arène de Céret

L’arène de Céret

Awaiting the corridas

Awaiting the start of the corridas

Enclosures for the Taureaux

Enclosures for the taureaux

Through the little window...

Through the little window…

Entering les Arènes

Entering les arènes

Here, opposite les arcades (looking out to the arches of the old town walls), banda are gathering; rushing past, instruments in hand. The bar tender’s brow sweats. Drumming commences. Flies try to sip my wine. I can see plumes of cigarette smoke curl in the evening light.

I am watching everything that is turning around my little table as I pause, marking the end of a busy week, and the beginning of this festive weekend. There is a man of around eighty, with flower garlands (red and yellow) on both wrists, wearing a big grin. Salopettes (short overalls) and panama hats. Black and red… Spanish aficionados.

Suitcases are being wheeled into hotels. Rugby-men pass in loud groups, followed by entourages of over-made-up filles… looking for action… waiting for something to happen… pacing… retracing the same steps… back and forwards…

Friends meet, and greet. The waiters wipe their brows and make hand signals to indicate that can’t hear over the music that has struck up on the stage opposite. There is a card game to my right. A photographer to my left. And an advancing parade, spurring me into action… the féria will soon be officially declared open…

A banda appears

A banda appears

Camarque contingent

Camarque contingent

Céretvillane

Céretvillane

The apéro awaits

The apéro awaits

Officially open

Officially open

Place de la République

Place de la République

Cérétane colours

Céretane colours

Performance by Céretvillanes

Performance by Céretvillane Flamenco

Watching flamenco

Watching flamenco

Els Combanys

Els Companys

One of nine stages

One of nine stages

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This entry was published on July 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm. It’s filed under Animals, Antipodean, Architecture, Art, Catalan, Creative, Cultural Creative, Culture and Arts, Current Events, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Fashion, Fête, Festival, Food, France, French Culture, History, Holiday, Landscape, Language, Languedoc Roussillon, Leisure, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Mediterranean, Music, New Zealander in France, Photography, Politics, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Seasons, South of France, Spain, Sport, Summer, Tourism, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Céret de Toros

  1. coucou toujours de belles photos et de beaux reportages mais impossible de traduire . . .
    le lien ne fonctionne plus dommage !
    à bientot en français ?

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