The Festival of the Firecrackers

Every last Sunday of January, for a long time, Castellane, celebrates the Festival of the Petardiers... in memory of January 31, 1586.


A bit of history...

Before coming to the facts that took place on January 31, 1586, let's go back to a few years before, to this troubled period that opposed Catholics and Protestants in Castellane.

It is in 1559 that the first troubles of the war of religions broke out in Castellane, Brun de Caille having converted the Castellane family to Protestantism.

In the summer of 1560, a Protestant captain named Paulon de Mauvans plundered the city and settled there after signing an agreement with the governor of Provence. On October 4, 1574, a new attack by the Protestants was repelled by the people of Castellan and the inhabitants of the neighboring villages.

"The Protestants represented by the Duke of Lesdiguère and the Baron of Germany at the head of their troops marched on Castellane. They attempted a surprise attack in order to take and plunder the city again. Judithe Andrau, who came from Barréme, her place of residence, saw the troops in the forest and hastened to sound the alarm when she arrived in Castellane.

The Castellanese, lacking military support, had to organize their own defense against the attackers.

On this occasion, Judithe Andrau, heroine of the day, killed Jean Motte, the captain of the attackers by throwing a cauldron of boiling weight on his head from the top of the door of the Annonciade. This gate, which still exists today, was at the time the weak point of the city. As for the Barron of Germany, he was wounded by a bullet in the back. This was the final blow to the Protestant attackers' retreat.


To commemorate these facts, Castellane proposes a theatrical reconstitution with loans of period costumes, dance and music show, demonstration of birds of prey, medieval restoration, bravado in the streets, mulled wine...




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