Ive discovered I was lucky to be in France for June and July. Ive mostly been staying and helping out at some chateaus. These are located in small villages in Frances beautiful countryside. In every village there is a celebration called a fet which is held once a summer. So any given weekend there is bound to be a party going on in some village.
The fets usually go for a week long typically Wednesday to Wednesday, but the weekend is the time to go. Everybody goes on Friday and Saturday night so the vibe and atmosphere is great and most of the activity is on those two days. The sun doesnt set until 10:30 so the partying usually goes on until early morning.
There is plenty of beer flowing from the kegs usually selling for 1.50 euro. They have the typical tortilla called a talo which is a really thick tortilla and you can choose between cheese, bacon, bacon and cheese, or chocolate for the center. They are pretty good, but a little dry, a cold beer helps it go down a little easier.
Local talent in France
The entertainment consists of some amazing acts. I was really impressed by the local talent in France. They have some amazing bands that cover everything from Lady Gaga to AC/DC.
The talented singers sing in English and they really nailed the songs. The fets also have dancers doing break-dancing and acrobatics. The local villages also bring in entertainers from other countries. I was able to see an outdoor play done by Polish actors. It was really cool to be outdoors as the sun set and the stars came out, enjoying a beer and a talo.
The play was really good too. This other village had some men doing some acrobatic dancing and creative tricks with roof tiles. Im so surprised by the talent in the small towns. There was a independent documentary film my hosts invited me to and I was very apprehensive to attend because I have no French.
But I decided to go and check out another village and learn more about French culture. I was so happy I did. Inside the theater the director came out and talked and my hosts translated for me. Basically he said, A lot of directors can take out the music of a movie, or the sound, even the actors. But what happens when you take out the film from a movie?
Then he walked out a door on the side of the theater and left the doors open. We the audience sat there confused for a moment and then music started outside. We all got up and followed through the doors.
Outside there were photographs and writing on the walls and sidewalk. So we followed them throughout the village, we walked a total distance of about a mile. Throughout the movie there were people stationed either playing music to add to the soundtrack or interacting with the photographs.
Then we came to a river and a bridge with chairs lined up along the bridge overlooking the wide, but shallow river. Just then a rainbow appeared, creating some amazing scenery. So we sat down and the main characters from the photos showed up and acted out the very end, but with no words.
On the distant hill the bride was running off in the horizon chased by the antagonists and the hero rides his bicycle to save her. The scenery was amazing and the concept so original and creative. I really enjoyed it.
Another fet I was happy to attend was a Catholic one called Fet d Dieu. There is a long procession and recession with the children throwing rose petals, followed by men in traditional clothing carrying bayonets and rifles.
Then there is a band which plays the traditional song over and over. The particapants all dance the same steps to the music. It was very interesting and another way in which I got deeper into French culture.
So if you make a stop in France for June or July, you have to check out the local small town flavor and attend a fet. You wont be disappointed and are sure to have a good time. The French know how to have a good time.