Folklore festivities: celebrating Les Ostensions

In May, Rochechouart underwent a major transformation in celebration of Les Ostensions: streets were adorned with red and white bunting, creating the feeling that the entire town had been enclosed in a huge circus tent. Shop fronts and street entrances were draped with fresh greenery and decorated with red and white flowers.

The 2016 Ostensions (14-15 May) were the 72nd edition and are an important part of Limousin folklore; they have been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 2013. They originated back in 994 AD after a major epidemic swept through the region. Religious leaders gathered in prayer and miraculously the dying ceased. A major procession saw relics carried through the streets and this historic tradition continues today – although these days it only takes place once every seven years.

Local English-language publication, Etcetera, provides a nice write up on the history of this tradition. Click here to read the full article in the May 2016 issue. SCH