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Monthly Archive for June, 2010

Street Life

My traveling companion is very interested in the religious ceremonies, and making comparisons to religious observance across the world. I am more interested in the street life that takes place during the Pilgrimage.
As the service is going on, we can hear the music and dancing in the neighborhood conflicting with the loudspeaker. There are [...]

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May 24th Saint Sara’s Day

We are staying at a charming hotel, just a few kilometers outside of the village. My good instincts told me that we would most likely want to be located at arm’s length from the activities in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Although I selected this hotel from the internet, I am very pleased with my choice as I was [...]

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Before the Ceremonies Begin

It is the night before the ceremonies of the Gypsy Pilgrimage begin. We take a short drive into town in the late afternoon, hoping to visit the church before it is closed for the evening. There are so many cars parked along the beach road that we have to walk quite a distance, but we [...]

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A Holy Place

I didn’t really understand how Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is such a holy place before undertaking this excursion. The history of the village is closely linked with Provencal religious beliefs and those of Catholics everywhere. The story of the persecuted Mary Salome, Mary Jacobe, and Mary Magdalene is that they were set adrift on a boat without sails [...]

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The Arlesiennes

We began our trip to the Gypsy Pilgrimage with a drive from Var, traveling west in the director of Arles. Arles is a city of Gypsy culture, and if you remember from my past posts, it was a gathering place for the Gypsies as they began their trip down the ancient road to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Perhaps [...]

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