It’s been a weekend très chargé. Saturday was the day of the Foire de Saint-Martin. It’s a huge event with stalls filling the centre of Cluny in addition to the normal Saturday morning market. The livestock events took place on the Champ de Foire. As well as the judging, this year there was a show of equine ability with the horses from the Haras. The St Martin’s Fair is a tradition that is fading away in parts of France but in Cluny it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.
The horse fair
The horses brushed and plaited
and different breeds of sheep
Later in Cortambert there was a really good concert hosted by the Québec-Bourgogne Society. A group from Quebec, FolkloFolie, had been booked originally but the weather in Quebec has caused major flooding and the group were unable to leave Quebec on Tuesday as planned. So a more local duo, Emilio Armillès and Salvatore Gréco, appeared instead. Their show ‘Chansons de Toujours’ was a mixture of our favourite old French songs, some Quebec songs and some wonderful instrumentals on the guitar. All peppered with a touch of Naples and Spain, denoting the origins of Emilio and Salvatore.
Emilio Armillès (left) and Salvatore Gréco
This weekend there has also been a huge vide grenier in Cluny, filling the Griottons, the Boulodrome and the parking for the campsite. Bargains everywhere…
Lots of useful stuff outside…
and treasures in the Boulodrome
The weather is changing this weekend. It’s much chillier than the recent warm sunny days we have been used to. We’re enjoying a hectic few weeks before the quiet days of winter.
The Foire de la Saint-Martin takes place all over France on the first or second weekend in November. It is one of the most ancient fairs, said to originate in 1170 when it was decreed that no taxes should be paid on buying and selling during the three days of the fair. It started off as mainly for horse traders, but soon it became a big occasion for all traders and artisans.
Delicacies from all over France
So everyone flocked to Cluny today to visit the market and the horsefair. The market was about three times its normal size as traders came from far and wide. The stalls stretched from the market place along the length of the main street up to the Champ de Foire where the animals were on show.
We watched the horses being judged. The usual heavy horses in this area are the Comtois. They were attached to a tractor tyre but you could well imagine them pulling a plough.
The Percherons had a mother and baby competition. This young fellow objected to being trotted up and down as all he wanted was to stop and have a drink of milk.
A percheron mother and son
There were calves, sheep and goats too. I only just resisted buying a Shetland and a couple of hens.
This afternoon we visited the Porte Ouverte at the Domaine Porcheron in Bray. I’m not sure how you can visit a wine tasting without getting to taste any wine but we were so taken up with watching Federic Leroy from Clessé busy carving figures out of blocks of oak that we left having forgotten the purpose of our visit.
Cluny is also occupied this weekend with the biggest brocante of the year at the campsite. This we will enjoy visiting tomorrow.