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🎉 Les FĂȘtes de Bayonne – French Story + Translation

By Myriam - updated on Jul 16, 2020
learn french in immersion

The end of July marks a special time for Bayonne: it’s the start of The Bayonne Festivities, a happy time where people gather up by the millions and party together. Learn about “les fĂȘtes de Bayonne” and practice your French with this easy French English bilingual practice story.

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Pour terminer la sĂ©rie d’articles sur ma ville, je dois absolument vous parler de ses fĂȘtes. Elles ont eu lieu le mois dernier, du 25 au 29 juillet.

To complete the series of articles about my city, I absolutely have to talk about its festivities. They took place last month, from 25 to 29 July.

Posters of the Bayonne Festivities

L’affiche des fĂȘtes, diffĂ©rente chaque annĂ©e est choisie par les Bayonnais qui viennent voir Ă  la mairie les propositions des artistes au dĂ©but du printemps.

The poster of the festivities, different each year is chosen by Bayonne residents who come to see the artist’s proposals in the early spring.

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Chaque annĂ©e, depuis 1932, juste avant le dĂ©but du mois d’aoĂ»t, du mercredi soir au dimanche, des milliers de personnes vĂȘtues de rouge et de blanc (couleurs traditionnelles des FĂȘtes de Bayonne, pantalon et t-shirt blancs, ceinture et foulard rouges) s’emparent de la ville pour 4 jours et 5 nuits de folie.

Every year since 1932, just before the start of August, from Wednesday evening to Sunday, thousands of people dressed in red and white (traditional “fĂȘtes” colors, white pants and shirt, red belt and scarf) seized the city for four days and five nights of madness.

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Une photo de ma famille + amis, habillĂ©s pour aller aux FĂȘtes de Bayonne

Programme des FĂȘtes de Bayonne

Le mercredi soir, la cĂ©rĂ©monie d’ouverture est marquĂ©e par la remise symbolique des clĂ©s de la ville aux « festayres », depuis le balcon de la mairie.

On Wednesday evening the opening ceremony is marked by the symbolic handover of the city’s keys to “festayres” from the balcony of City Hall.

Au programme, tout le meilleur de la tradition basque, gasconne et des fĂ©rias : courses de vaches, pelote basque, concerts, musique et danses traditionnelles, feux d’artifice, gastronomie et culture basque, dĂ©filĂ© de chars (appelĂ© « le Corso », cette annĂ©e sur le thĂšme des 80 ans des fĂȘtes), activitĂ©s sportives, bals 
et bien sĂ»r ses bars ou « peñas » qui ne dĂ©semplissent pas.

For the program, all the best of traditional Basque, Gascon and ferias: racing cows, Basque pelota, concerts, music and traditional dances, fireworks, food and Basque culture, parade (called “Corso” This year the theme of 80 years of festivals), sporting activities, dancing 
 and of course bars or “Peñas” which are always full.

Le RĂ©veil du Roi LĂ©on

Les jeunes enfants ne sont pas oubliés avec leurs activités quotidiennes, le réveil du Roi Léon (figure marionnette emblématique et adorée des petits), le défilé dans les rues de sa cour de marionnettes géantes, accompagné par la musique des «  bandas » ! Le jeudi est particuliÚrement leur journée, avec un pique-nique géant sur les pelouses de la Poterne, parc agréable et ombragé.

Young children are not forgotten with their daily activities, the awakening of King Leo (iconic figure puppet ), the parade through the streets of his court of giant puppets, accompanied by the music of “bandas”! Thursday is their special day with a giant picnic on the lawns of the” Poterne”, pleasant and shady park.

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A Never Ending Party at Myriam’s

Chez moi, chaque année on affiche complet, dedans, dehors


At home, each year we are fully booked, inside, outside 


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Cette fois-ci, il y avait pendant la semaine des fĂȘtes une dizaine de tentes de camping dans le jardin et tous les jeunes rĂ©unis ont dinĂ© chaque soir d’un repas prĂ©parĂ© en commun, avant de partir Ă  pied retrouver les rues animĂ©es de la ville (Ă  pied car la ville est entiĂšrement fermĂ©e aux voitures pendant les fĂȘtes et aussi parce que la marche est un bon moyen de rĂ©veiller les esprits embrumĂ©s par une consommation d’alcool supĂ©rieure Ă  la normale
.)

This time there was during the week of festivities a dozen tents in the garden and all young people dined together every evening of a meal prepared togetherbefore walking back to the busy streets of the city (walking because the city is completely closed to cars during the holidays and because walking is a good way to awaken the minds clouded by alcohol consumption greater than normal!)

If you liked this article, why not consider a stay at Myriam’s home in Bayonne (Pays Basque) to better your French? Here is more info about the French Immersion Residential courses recommended by French Today.

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