La Sorcellerie (witches et al)

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Centre,
Sunday, October 23, 2011


Each year, the tiny village of Bonnu hosts a Fete de La Sorcellerie, a Witch Fair. It is a huge crowd puller, spills out of the village with all things sorcery related, alternative and fast food outlets including French things and more international such as candy floss. Scary stilt walkers reminding me of painted gargoyles loitered against lampposts. We'd watch and wait. One grabbed Laura's hat and flung it into the crowd, growling at her. Laura jumped!  When small children walked past, looking up at the demonic faces, the kids would cringe into their mothers' (fathers', guardians') skirts. This was amusing enough and then the actors would snarl and leap towards them. It was wonderful drama although the children weren't as delighted!

Julie spent a couple of hours approaching strangers to take their photos for a photography group project. So we were crowd watching to look for interesting faces for street portraits. It intrigued me to realise that we were nominating more men than women. I considered all further suggestions and also those that we were filtering from the selection process. We were looking for interesting faces, faces that could be interpretted by the viewer and we weren't enthused by faces covered with makeup to look the same as the next. Also it was much easier to approach a solitary person than a member of a group and, looking around the crowds, women were rarely waiting on their own. Julie's collection of pics were good enough to be in the final group and included a couple of women in her six. You can see them here:

As night fell, the drumming band started the procession. The witch was caught and dragged by the priests to the stock cart and hauled down the street to the field behind the chateau. Others were arrested, crimes listed before pretend burnings of another witch portrayed by one of Cinderella's ugly sisters. Firework displays were set off and classic music was pumped out, unfortunately not in relation to the fireworks. Occasionally a firework would shoot out into the crowd. It got a bit scary. Not the best fireworks event but certainly the most excited or frightened I've been at a professional pyrotechnic display.
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