What awaits you at the 41st edition of the Bravade de la Saint-Clément which celebrates its 400th anniversary this weekend at La Garde-Freinet

What awaits you at the 41st edition of the Bravade de la Saint-Clément which celebrates its 400th anniversary this weekend at La Garde-Freinet
What awaits you at the 41st edition of the Bravade de la Saint-Clément which celebrates its 400th anniversary this weekend at La Garde-Freinet

The festivities will kick off this Saturday with a first gathering on the town hall square from 4:30 p.m. Throughout the weekend, the villagers will live to the sound of fifes, drums and “tromblonades” which will smoke up the Gard sky during the traditional bravado of Saint-Clement.

For this 41st edition, the event will be run by a new city captain, in the person of Laurent Faudon. His son, Baptiste, will be the sign-bearer. The president of the Friends of Bravade association, Gérald Codou, who selected the city captain for his “devotion and commitment”rejoices in the wind of renewal blowing through this ancestral celebration which originated in 1624.

The sewing workshop works very well

However, the fervor of the Gardois for their patron saint is not new. Dedicated to Saint Clement, pope and martyr of the 1st century AD, the patron saint of the parish is celebrated each year at the beginning of May to commemorate the translation of the saint’s relics to the church of La Garde-Freinet.

At the same time, the Amis de la Bravade sewing workshop is working hard to create Provençal costumes. The association’s seamstresses are busy finishing skirts, petticoats, capes and camisoles for the ladies and vests for the men on time.

The seamstresses are hard at work finishing the bravado outfits. Photo CS.

The Saint-Clément Bravade will be officially opened by the mayor, Thomas Dombry, on Saturday May 4 at 4 p.m. He will entrust command to the town captain, thus marking the start of the procession made up of bravaders, Provençals in costumes and musicians. The rosary of bravaders will cross the village before gathering from 6 p.m. to participate in a mass in the Saint-Clément chapel. Saturday evening, at 8:30 p.m., something new is planned: the bravado corps will parade twice in the village.

The devotion of the Gardois for their patron saint will also be expressed the next day.

A mass in Provençal Sunday morning

On Sunday, the procession will start at 8:30 a.m. from the town hall square before going to the church to collect the reliquary. At 10:15 a.m., Place Neuve, official welcome of Notre-Dame de Miremer carried by the ladies, then blessing of the reliquary and all the braves, musicians, the population and their bouquets. A high mass will take place, sung in Provençal by members of the Escandihado folk group around 11 a.m.

Finally, around noon the public will be able to attend Place Neuve various traditional dances and salutes from the bravado corps.

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