©x-default|Ch Ruiz Montpellier 3M
Camargue bullfight

Camargue bullfight

The villages celebrate the harvests or the Patron Saint of the village. They take place throughout the summer. It is the opportunity to transmit our traditions to young people and newcomers to ensure that they too appropriate the identity of the region.

They are marked by bullfighting events (the Camargue traditions have been included in these festivals to the point of becoming the main events!), dances, petanque and belote tournaments, parades, fireworks, fairground attractions, raffles, free concerts… not to mention the banquets that take place in the village!

In the bullrings, parades in period costume accompany traditional music and Camargue races. In short, during the religious festivals you have a drink, dance, watch or run behind the bulls and have lunch sitting between the village baker and shopkeeper in a very friendly atmosphere.

First come the abrivado and bandido, when the bulls go through the villages, corresponding to the path that was once taken by the herds from the pastures to the bullring, and then from the bullring to the pastures, under the supervision of horse-mounted herdsmen, the gardians.

The sight is worth the detour: the galloping herd is pursued by the atrapaïres, young people who try to catch the tails of the bulls with their bare hands.

The evening is the time for encierros, when heifers are released in the village. The young people of the village then attempt to touch and excite the animals. A word of warning: running behind the bulls is dangerous and accidents occur every year.

In some villages, like Baillargues, where the Bull Festival takes place on the first Friday of June, Camargue races are also organised. In the bullrings, raseteurs try to grab hold of the trinkets that hang from the horns of the bulls (rosettes, tassels, twine, etc.), proving their speed and flexibility to avoid being caught by the animals.

Montpellier Métropole has recently organised the Bullfighting Trophy in eleven municipalities (Baillargues, Castries, Lattes, Le Crès, Pérols, Saint-Géniès-des-Mourgues, Saint-Georges d’Orques, Vendargues and Villeneuve-lès- Maguelone).

The art of the bull
  • Abrivado: arrival of the bulls from their place of pasture
    to the bullring, supervised by their gardians (herdsmen)
  • Bandido: the return from the abrivado
  • Cocardier: a Camargue bull that has demonstrated its
  • Encierro: the release of bulls within a set perimeter
  • Gardian: a mounted herdsman
  • Raseteurs: the main protagonists of Camargue races. They face a cocardier, a very agile bullock, from which they attempt to remove the trinkets decorating its head

A visit to a herd of bulls like Domaine de Fangouse ou la Manade Boch.