Les Joutes de Sete
Every summer, a unique sporting event takes place in the city of Sete, in the Languedoc Roussillon region, called Joutes Nautiques (nautical jousting). Les Joutes Nautiques is a typical sport of Languedoc Roussillon and has existed in Sete since the creation of the city, in 1666.
The tournament starts with a parade of the jousting “knights” with traditional music: oboe and drums are the two main instruments. There is a blue and a red rowboat guided by steersmen and powered by 8 to 10 rowers. In the front of the boat, 2 musicians accompany the tournament with a traditional music. The jousting members are armed with a spear and protected by a “pavois” (a shield).They stand on the “tintaine”, a plank set at the back of the boat about 2 meters above the water. The aim of the game is to make the opponent fall in the water with the spear when the boats pass each other. Numerous rules regulate the fight and if they are not respected, competitors are disqualified; rules include: when the player falls in the water, when he touches the “tintaine” with his hands or knee, he drops the spear or the shield or doesn’t hold the spear properly under his arm…
Jousts during Saint Louis’ Day
Saint Louis is the Patron Saint of Sete and a festival is organised every year around August 20th. It is the greatest event of the year for the Setois and 2010’s festival will be the 268th since the emergence of the city. More than 70 shows take place, bodegas stay open late into the night and of course, jousts are organised along the Canal Royal. It is the final tournament of the year for jousting knights, a kind of world championship. The winner of these jousts will have his name written on a “pavois” which will then be exhibited in the Paul Valery museum. It is the tradition since 1666… In Sete, it is said that a real Setois has fought on the “tintaine” at least once in his life!
Sete, also called the Little Venice of Languedoc, is a truly charming city with typical districts crossed by canals, the colourful front of its houses, its fishing harbour and its 12km of sandy beaches. The Jousts of Sete are the occasion to go and visit this lively town and maybe it will make you want to stay there for a while… or forever!
Have a look at our properties in Sete and in the Languedoc Roussillon region!
Tags: festival in Sete, jousting in Sete, Joutes de Sete, property in Sete, Sete
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