How about going back to the 30th century for a weekend? Every year for almost 1 years, during the XNUMXer weekend of August, Saint-Girons plunges into a festive and colorful atmosphere to the sound of the oboe, hooves treading the ground, the backfire of agricultural machinery still in operation, or the sound of bells hanging from the necks of animals. Time of strong emotion, moments of discovery, meetings and exchanges, “Formerly the Couserans”Brings together the local Couserannais population of all age groups around a project. The leitmotif: preserve a heritage and safeguard the individual and collective memory of the life of the 18 valleys of Couserans of old.

Pride and love of traditions

Everyone, young and old alike, come back to relive the social and rural epic of the turn of the century, but also to taste the realism of the scenes of traditional pastoral life. They revive part of their cultural heritage and traditions transmitted by their ancestors who lived these ways of life and keep their memories alive through these festive days.

Autrefois le Couserans
Formerly the Couserans © Formerly the Couserans

Attend the event

A journey through time

Throughout the weekend, rural events, craft and gourmet markets, parade of vintage cars, exhibitions, horse shows, etc… take place in the city of Ariege frozen in time. The high point of the event, the big parade Sunday morning when no less than 900 people, postmen, rewinders, washerwomen, water carriers, etc., take their places alongside hundreds of animals and teams loaded with wood, hay or wheat.

In the city dozens of old tractors, old agricultural machines, carts, chariots or even dumpers guided by these men and women and these children in old-fashioned costumes parade in turn in front of the amazed eyes of those who come to share the celebration. The folk groups are also part of the trip: the Bethmalais parade and dance the traditional 2-stroke bourrée of the bethmale valley to the sound of Couserans oboes dressed in their colorful costumes and their clogs.

Autrefois le Couserans
Formerly the Couserans © Formerly the Couserans

The restaurants of the city offer a unique menu to delight the taste buds and the mythical Ath Bi Petit Tavern is the essential place to enjoy local products and try to remake the world. Here, platters of cold meats, cheeses and wine around bales of hay and large barrels.

A festive and convivial atmosphere reigns throughout the weekend. It is an opportunity for some to meet, for others to share their passions and their heritage, to come out of the closet costumes and hats of their great-grandparents. But above all, it is the honor and pride to present the wealth and know-how of each of these people who have shaped the history of couserans for centuries.

In short, a guaranteed plunge into the last century that amazes all those who participate in it from near or far!

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