At the tiny village of Barjols in the Var Department Visnews filmed Jan 16 and 17 the traditional festivities of "Dei Tripetto" in honour of St.
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Background: At the tiny village of Barjols in the Var Department Visnews filmed Jan 16 and 17 the traditional festivities of "Dei Tripetto" in honour of St. Marcel.
St.Marcel's feast is observed every four years. On Jan 16 a garlanded fat ox is led into the church square to receive the priest's blessing in the presence of a bust of St. Marcel. Muskets are fired and the animal taken to the slaughter-house.
In the evening the whole village attends church, sings ancient Provencal hymns and begins a strange dance which looks not unlike skipping - without a rope.
The next day a splendid procession of quaintly dressed villagers takes the slaughtered beast to the village esplanade where it is roasted on the spit. Another round of "skipping" - it seems to go on for hours on end - concludes the "Dei Tripetto".
The custom dates back to 1350 when - according to legend - St. Marcel appeared to a monk at the monastery of St. Maurice and commanded him to transfer his relies to a holier place. So the people of D'Aups and Barjols entered into a fierce contest over this honour until eventually the inhabitants of Barjols contrived to seize the relies of the saint and to remove them post-haste to their church. On their way they encountered a band of youths with a slaughtered ox who joined their ranks and sang and danced with them in the church.