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Easter in Villefranche de Conflent

31st March 2018 - 2nd April 2018


Saturday 31st March

4pm – beginning of the « Goig dels ous de xocolat » with music and dancing in the street
9pm – place de l’église : ” Complimentary *Ron cremat ” and choccie egg distibution.
* Ron cremat – the traditional drink to accompany ‘Havaneres’, is made up of a mixture of rum, sugar, lemon peel and coffee beans, with optional cinammon stick, served in an earthenware bowl and flambéed to burn off the alcohol.
Havaneres – named after the capital town of Cuba, La Habana (Havana), are sea shanties brought back from Cuba by sailors in the 19th Century, and tell of lost loves and faraway ancestors. These lovely ’sing-songs’ are usually accompanied by guitar and accordion, and sometimes bass.
The reported origins of havaneras was in Cuba in the 19th century, but the first seeds were sewn a little earlier, when the rhythm of a European dance known as the “contradansa” arrived at the island. (The“contradansa” originated from England in the 16th century coming from ’country dance’, and reached France a century later)

Sunday 1st April

9am – setting up of the Géants with ‘colles’ from north and south Catalonia, warm up for musicians and descent of the ’oriflamme’ to open the festival.
10.30am – cercavila: musical parade of the giants through the village streets
3.30pm – afternoon ‘cercavila’ followed by the presentation of all the giants and each couple’s special dance.

Monday 2nd April

10.30am – Easter Mass at the Ermitage des falaises de marbre rose. Join the pilgrimage beforehand (40minute walk), leaving from the RN116, just after the Petit Train Jaune.
4.30pm – choir recital at Eglise Saint Jacques

Fairground rides throughout the bank holiday weekend!

More info
04 68 96 22 96
 Easter weekend in Villefranche is a bit of a treat.

Giants of Villefranche de Conflent« Goig dels ous de xocolat » sees musicians « Els Ministrils del Rosselló » parade through the streets with the ’geganters de Villefranche’ playing Catalan musical intruments (gralles, flaviol and tambourin) and asking for chocolate eggs from the inhabitants of the town in exchange for their music.

A few days before the event, lists of music to be played will be posted into everyone’s letter box. Basketsof eggs on ropes lowered out of first floor windows are particularly appreciated! The procession of the giants or ’gégants’ through the streets of Villefranche is not to be missed

Little big head (cap grossos)*Gegants are enormous painted papier-maché figures, sometimes 14 or 15 ft tall, with traditional clothing and a person inside. Most towns have their own giants, often representing some important person in the history of the town. They usually appear in couples, often as king and queen, or some other important person and go out during the patron saint holiday of the town (Festa Major) or on special days, and dance in the streets with little “big-heads” or “cap-grossos”.


31st March 2018
2nd April 2018
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Villefranche de Conflent