The fishermen's festival, a local tradition.


Tribute to the missing sailors and fishermen.

  •  - © Andres mendes service communication ville de Sète

Discovering Sète's traditions

Sunday morning. I enjoy a coffee on the terrace, in a small bar near the market of Les Halles, when I am challenged by excitement and music. Curious, I let myself be guided by the noise and came face to face with a procession led by a marching band. Is it one of those parades that precede the jousting tournaments, as I was told by friends who came to Sète last summer on holiday?

To be sure, I decide to call someone when my eyes meet those of a lady of a certain age with a benevolent look. She tells me that today is St. Peter's Day, the patron saint of fishermen. The next stop of this great celebration takes place in the church of Saint Louis which, according to him, is worth a visit. I let myself be tempted....
  •  - © Rodolphe Baras
  •  - © C. Baras

Fervour and emotion

At the end of this moving ceremony in honour of the missing fishermen and sailors, it seems to me that I have a better understanding of the identity of this city and its inhabitants. I am once again the procession that resumes its journey, as if hypnotized by all these traditional clothes and fervour. On the wise advice of the Sète people around me, I settled on the Môle to contemplate the rest of the show.

In the distance, at sea, several dozen boats of all kinds are gathered and waiting, motionless. I see flowers in the water, and time suddenly seems to have frozen....

Enough emotion. Here, we seem to have character. The flotilla is now back and the band is back in service. As I follow the crowd that accompanies the procession to the Chapel of the Penitents, where the status of Saint Peter will be deposited, I see a nice little restaurant whose terrace makes me dizzy. What if I now explore other local traditions?