Fête de mouton

Moutons d'Albas
Moutons d'Albas

C’est printemps! (It is spring!)

In the pockets of garrigue (scrubland) about the south of France, the land is ideal for raising sheep.

Each year when the sheep are being sheared of their thick wooly coats, villagers and others from surrounding villages

Petting Zoo 1
Petting Zoo 1

will gather for the event. One more distinction that I have noticed about France and the French is that they can take something that most would consider a chore (shearing) and turn it into a party. They have such a passion for life in all its facets.

In Albas vendors will have booths selling fromage (cheese) made from sheep’s milk, crepes, tickets for the meal that will be served later (ewe on the spit). You can purchase scarves, caps and sweaters made from the wool.

There is a Petting Zoo set up for the children, music for dancing and a local band that parades about the village.

Several Milk-fed Lambs (4-6 weeks old) are prepared and secured to spits then cooked over open fires. During cooking, they are brushed frequently with a mixture of herbs and locally produced olive oil. They will be served with pomme de terre (potatoes), vegetable, salad, cheese and a dessert which was tart aux pomme (apple tart).  Being France, there are bottles of wine (rouge and rose) on the tables along with water. After the meal is finished you are offered café.

There is dancing until late into the night and everyone is included as you can see by these photos.

Le porc - Petting Zoo 2
Le porc - Petting Zoo 2
Le petite danseur
Le petite danseur




9 thoughts on “Fête de mouton

  1. This all sounds so gorgeous. I have always wanted to spend some time living in France. It’s on my bucket list. I have only been there once, and that was a short stay in Paris and then a bus ride through the countryside onto the next leg of travel. But I know I need to return there.

    1. Paris is fabulous. However, there is so much more to France and only one way to get to know it. Whatever time you spend here will only enrich you and I doubt there will be any regrets.
      Bon courage!

    1. Thanks Polly! Yes, the little dancer stole my heart. I tried to get some photos of her later when she was really tearing up the dance floor. However, there were problems with the lighting.

  2. Great post, Lea…I remember our long train ride from Paris to Lourdes passing through magnificent orchards, vineyards and farmlands with grazing sheep and cattle along the vast countrysides some years ago. Here’s looking forward to my second trip, hopefully next year. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cynthia. In my book, it doesn’t get any better than this and I am truly home after a very long search. Fingers crossed for next year which is not far off… 🙂

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