Each year on Easter Sunday, in the little, picturesque village of Saint Felix de Lauragais – some 40 km southeast of Toulouse – in the …Lauragais region of southwest France, takes place the “Cocagne” Festival.
The name “cocagne” literally designates hand made little balls of dried woad plant – called pastel in French – leaves which are used to produce a blue textile paint of a matchless shade. The use pastel, although known since antiquity, boomed during the period between the 13th and 16th centuries when it brought vast riches to Toulouse and its surrounding region.
The affluence created by the pastel related trades was such that in popular parlance the expression “Pays de Cocagne” – “Pastel Land” – came to describe a wonderland where everything abounds, and any wish for enrichment is granted.
The festival of “Cocagne” of Saint Felix de Lauragais celebrates however other types of wealth: the region’s historic and cultural ones.
Through costumes, dances, music and shows the residents of the village recreated during one day scenes from history of their community from Middle Ages to the modern times.
The festival also brings about one of the few opportunities to visit the village’s chateau – so tightly related to the Catharism history and now a private property – and its courtyard.
Here are some pictures from the 2017 edition of “Fête de la Cocagne”.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!