Between songs, dances and customs, Roussillon Conflent celebrates the Catalan culture throughout the year. From generation to generation, inhabitants of the territory share these celebrations and traditions that represent the richness and the identity of their origins and their village.
THE PASTORALE, A CHRISTMAS TRADITION
During Christmas, the Pastoral (living nativity) is a succession of dialogues and songs, orchestrated by a choirmaster guiding a choir of adults and children.
The “aplecs” are festive gatherings during which people dance the Sardana. This folkloric and popular dance brings dancers together in a circle, with the sound of music played by a cobla.
In Roussillon Conflent, the Christ dies at Boulternère on Maundy Thursday during the Procession of Bouleternère and resuscitate at Ille-sur-Têt on Easter Sunday.
It’s the occasion to discover the famous Reginas who have been so dear to the heart of Ille’s people since 1891. At dawn, drum rolls announce the resurrection of Christ. Then comes a morning of celebration and contemplation that will lead the crowd from the town hall square to Saint-Etienne church. There, 130 choristers and 40 musicians perform the Reginas de Coll and Colomer. Thrills guaranteed.
By crossing the territory during Holy Week, you will probably meet the “goigs dels ous” (joy of eggs). These choirs who sing under the windows of the inhabitants are thanked by a “cistella” (basket) full of eggs, pudding, salted biscuits and good bottles that will be used to prepare the Pascale omelette.
Finally, succumb to the delight of the ‘’bunyete’’, doughnut of great finesse, light and crunchy, scented with orange blossom water.
THE FERIA OF MILLAS
The Feria of Millas is the climax of the summer season in Roussillon Conflent, and it attracts thousands of people every year. During four days, we celebrate the bull and the Catalan culture: from “castellers” (human pyramids) to “correfocs” through “gigants” (giants), the public comes in family to enjoy the coloured beauty of Catalan folklore.
And then there is the celebration! Going from bodega to bodega to the rhythm of the brass bands, we dance and sing in a great moment of sharing and friendliness.
Bull games of the evening and the release of the bull in the streets are great moments that “aficionados” (amateurs) enjoy before the “novillada” (bullfight of young bulls) then the Saturday night corrida.
LES FEUX DE LA SAINT-JEAN
On the summer solstice, villages of the territory are set alight for Saint John’s Eve. A joyful and popular celebration where families get together at the village square around a great fire.
Before that, the flame is kept all year round at the Castillet of Perpignan. Then, on Sunday before the solstice, the Trobada gathers emissaries from all Catalonia to bring bundles at the summit of mount Canigó. On the 22nd of June, the Canigó’s flame is carried at its summit. The flame will spark all night before being carried the next day, from hand to hand, lighting up every bonfire of the department municipalities.