Tuesday, August 05, 2008

International Celtic Music Festival in Lorient

Each year at the beginning of August, Lorient will host the Inter-Celtic festival for around 10 days. It is estimated that 500,000 people had shown up last year. The festival features celtic musics and other artistic events. The Celtic diaspora includes Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia and Asturias.

This year the festival is held from 1 to 10 August. We went there last weekend but the weather was not corporating. Streets were filled with crowd, stores that sell Celtic related art products, beer/alcohol and food stands. Many bands were still performing despite the rain, and people were dancing on the streets. It is a family event, so you can see baby, kids and the elderly occupying a table in front of a bar, the adults smoke and sip their beers while the babies and kids enjoy themselves. I was told that it is the second most beer consumed event after the German beer festival. Since I'm not a fan of beer, I tried out the cider from Cornwall and I have to say that Brittany produces better cider. Wales is the guest country this year so we see their flags everywhere. I didn't know their flag is consisted of a red dragon. I learnt that in the European legends, dragon could represent evil, destruction and sin, while in Asia it usually represents wisdom and good fortune.

We wondered about the streets, from store to store and finally made a stop in a school gym. There, thousand of people were dancing, including grandmas and grandpas. Many Celtic dances welcome large crowd, so people from different generations hold their fingers or arms together and just follow the music or singing from the performers. Dances range from easy to complicated steps.

If you just happen to be on vacation in the northern of France, don't miss out this opportunity. If you have no idea what is Celtic culture, just think of a Scottish man with his kilt and pipe. I heard that traditionally, a man wearing a kilt is not supposed to wear anything under. So, during a wedding, we spotted a man with his kilt and we viciously sent someone over to verify this. And, just say that he is really respecting the tradition. haha!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting festival. Thanks for the info.

    Ah! the men in kilts ... you had to find out for yourself, right? (even though you did not check it out yourself .. haha)
    I believe some pictures were circulated around the net for some years of men's kilts being blown up by the wind to reveal a lot more than just hairy legs. :D