Feast of Saint John the Baptist

  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
  • Fête patronale de la StJean Baptiste Colmars
Verdon Tourisme > Feast of Saint John the Baptist

A popular village festival, St Jean-Baptiste features parades of armed firefighters and canteen girls in Napoleon III costume, aubades, ceremonies, popular dances, brass bands and processions.

June 23rd:
18h: Wreath-laying at the war memorial and cemetery.
9:30 pm: Religious service in the church of Saint Martin.
10 pm: Saint Jean procession and bonfire at Fort de France
10:30 pm: Ball with DJ Nerik organized by the bar-restaurant Le Crazy Pub on the Place de la Mairie.

June 24th
7:00 am: Wake-up call with fanfare
7:30 am: Departure of the procession to the chapel of Saint Jean
11:00 am: Mass in the chapel
11:30 am / 2:30 pm: Blessing of the spring, aperitif and picnic, return to Colmars.
4:00 pm: Welcome procession to St. Jean oratory (opposite Fort de Savoie) and blessing of children in St. Martin church.
5 p.m.: Vespers in the church, followed by a tour of the village.
9:30 pm: Trad ball with the group “Entre deux airs” organized by the restaurant La Table Ronde on the Place Neuve.

June 25th
7:00 a.m.: Wake-up call with fanfare
10 a.m.: Saint Éloi mass
11:30 am: Aubades for the authorities
*Presbytery and official welcome by Abbé Rigaud
*Mayor’s welcome at Jean-Alain Girieud square
*Halting and wreath-laying at the gendarmerie
*Firemen’s parade
2pm: A picnic at the Pré des Lices, in the presence of the Harmonie, the Sapeurs-Pompiers and the Cantinières.
4pm: Concert by the Brignoles firefighters’ brass band in the public garden or church, weather permitting.
5pm: Children’s games in the school playground organized by Sandrine (snack offered).
9:30 pm: Evening service and farewell to Saint Jean-Baptiste, followed by a punch prepared by the Blanc family.
10:30 p.m.: Grand ball with DJ Mathis organized by Le France hotel-bar-restaurant on the Place de France

The patronal feast of Saint Jean-Baptiste has been a tradition for generations, and one to which Colmarsiens are very attached. Despite a few interruptions in the course of its history, this celebration of religious, military and civil brotherhood has always managed to endure and adapt. It has been held every year on June 23, 24 and 25 since probably the first half of the 19th century.
The festivities were already taking place in 1844, as mentioned by Abbé Féraud in his “Géographie historique et biographique du département des Basses-Alpes”. The costumes, still worn today, represent many of the military bodies that marked the Napoleonic Wars (circa 1830). St. John’s Day in Colmars follows a set pattern that has been handed down for generations.
Today, the latest arrivals proudly reproduce the process and gestures. Over time, however, some of these customs have obviously evolved. For example, it is no longer the penitents who carry the statue of St. John, but the villagers or volunteers, depending on how the festivities unfold. Similarly, the population is no longer called upon to elect the Captain of the Bravade. From now on, after consultation, the Captain will be chosen for several years from among the volunteers. A number of new features have also been added: wreath-laying, a traditional ball, a 7 a.m. wake-up call with fanfare…
The Saint-Jean-Baptiste celebration is a tradition that has evolved with the times!

  • Spoken languages
    • French
  • Services & Equipment

    Animaux : Refused

  • Opening

    From Sunday 23 to Tuesday 25 June.

  • Prices

    Free of charge.

Le village
04370 Colmars-en

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