Well, you wouldn’t like it either… having somebody throw bombs across your ceiling! It happens every year and there is nothing the fish can do about it.
Well, you wouldn’t like it either… having somebody throw bombs across your ceiling!
It happens every year and there is nothing the fish can do about it.
The older, larger fish probably are used to it by now and they move away. These are the catfish that grow up to 75 kilograms, and look like small crocodiles as they pass the huge carp that lie in the hollows of the riverbed.
But the younger fish must be terrified as these bouncing bombs come exploding across the top of their world.
And it doesn’t even happen on the 14th of July, when the rest of France lets off fireworks in a celebration of the ‘Storming of the Bastille’, which marked the beginning a period of anarchy that even the French people are not proud about. However, these days the “14th” is a holiday, it is in July, the weather will usually be good and so why not make a noise with fireworks to show solidarity with the rest of France.
But not so in one village.
This village in Burgundy does not celebrate with the rest of France because it does not approve of what happened after the French Revolution.
Perhaps I should explain.
The village of Seurre on the banks of the Sâone River used to be defended by a fortified wall. Over its thousand years of History, various armies laid siege to it and several times it had to submit, following which the village was sacked and burned. Perhaps the wall attracted these raids because any people that go to the trouble of building a colossal wall around their town must have something valuable to hide.
It was King Louis the Fourteenth who finally overcame the village and then insisted that the surrounding walls had to be demolished, but as a reward for the villagers defending themselves against the foreign raiding armies, they would receive a tax-free status.
When the French Revolution took place in 1786 Seurre lost its tax-free status, so as a result the people, to this day, do not celebrate the “14th of July”. And nobody knows this better than the fish in the river at Seurre.
The firework display, which takes place on the first Sunday of August, is started off by a series of bouncing explosions that dance across the surface of the river like giant ‘jumping jacks’. These are followed by rockets, mortars and explosions in the sky.
The crowds come from many nearby villages to enjoy the event, but if you come, remember to bring your own refreshments.
The bar owners and restaurateurs also take this evening off to celebrate, and so close their establishments.
This is an extraordinary thing to do, on this day when so many people come to visit Seurre to see the fireworks…. but then….. this is France!
So the fish get ‘bombed’, but the people don’t!