Thursday, August 6, 2009
The Fête Médiévale
Our little village of Montmirail is usually very quiet indeed. No more than 300 people live here and often it's just as quiet as if one were in the middle of the countryside. There is absolutely no light pollution, for example, and at night we can see the milky way from our windows. But once a year, the first weekend in August, there is a large Medieval fair which lasts for two days and brings three thousand people into town. Atelier Conti opens its doors and we have more visitors in an afternoon than during the rest of the year. Montmirail is a wonderful location for the re-creation of the middle ages. It has changed very little since those days. We are rated as a "petite cité de caractère" which means there is nothing to distract from the sense of days long past. We don't even have over-head power lines and no modern buildings to distract from the charm. The castle grounds are open to the public and lots of tents and various activities are set up. The town's people dress in costume. Demonstrations of ancient crafts and trades are given by genuine experts. Archery is a favorite activity for young and old alike. Children are treated to various distractions and games. And of course there is always lots of food! On Saturday evening there is a grand feast with Medieval food, drink and utensils, very wonderfully executed by the local folk. But the best event of all is donated by the family who live in the castle. They offer a fantastic display of fireworks to music. It is made to look as if the castle is in the middle of a war. It's tremendously exciting and impressive. We all clap when it's over.
Posted by Atelier Conti at 6:38 PM