The town of Beziers holds a number of fetes and events throughout the year. One such fete is called Les Caritats, and it takes place on May 5, Ascension day, which is a public holiday in France. The history of Les Caritats dates back to mediaeval times. One of the reasons behind the fete was apparently to raise money, which was then distributed among the poor. Bread, which was blessed by the archbishop and the clergy of the town, was also distributed among the needy populace.
I went to this year’s edition of Les Caritats, to see what it was all about. The day was sunny and warm, perfect for a fete! A mediaeval ‘village’ had been set up on the Allees Paul Riquet, close to the municipal theatre. The ‘camel, the totem animal of Beziers, was there too!
When I arrived at the fete, the communal meal was already in full swing. A lady in flowing robes was entertaining the diners with a parrot display.
Farther down the square, a small farmyard had been set up, for the entertainment of old and young. The animals didn’t seem to be in the slightest bothered about being on show.
The mediaeval kitchen, where children could learn to prepare dishes from the period:
For the children, the biggest attractions were the games! There was a great selection to choose from!
With such beautiful weather, a stroll around Beziers was a must. I am always captivated by the wonderful facades which abound in this town! It really must have been an amazing town to live in during its heyday in the 19th century!
If you visit Beziers, be sure to keep your eyes open for all the beauty – it can be found in unexpected places!