Visnews filmed June 24 at Entrevaux, in the Basses Alpes district, S.E. France, the time?
Visnews filmed June 24 at Entrevaux, in the Basses Alpes district, S.E. France, the time honoured celebrations held to mark the day of Saint Jean-Baptists.
The ceremony is notably arduous - a procession walks a distance of 11 miles - mostly along mountainous goat paths - and throughout this long journey, the statue of saint Jean, weighing approximately 300 lbs., is carried by four men. For the first three miles the statue is carried in a trunk. Then local people bring wine and home made cake for the marchers. One of the groups offers the statue a glass of wine and afterwards all partake of refreshments. After a song in honour of the saint, they take up their burden again and resume the long arduous trek.
When the procession reaches the mountain top, it is night, but tradition has it that no man must sleep. If by chance one falls asleep, his shoe laces are cut to prove it and in the morning he has to submit to an 'ordeal by wine'. In this he lays on his back and wine is poured into his mouth through a abut???. If he drinks it satisfactorily, he is completely absolved.