The lovely village of Lautrec situated in the Tarn department of the southwestern France, member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” – “The Most Beautiful Villages of France” – association, celebrates each year, on the 3rd Sunday of July, the “Fête des sabots et des anciens métiers”- “Clog and Old Trades Festival”:
The feast includes, to be sure, demonstrations of clog making using ancient machinery and introduces one to the history of this more than 2000 year old footwear – activities that take place at the tiny “Atelier du sabotier” museum.
The “Fête des sabots” is however a more comprehensive celebration that highlights the Lautrec village as a whole: its historic Occitan heritage, its flagship product – the pink garlic -, its life in past centuries the middle of “pays de cocagne” or the pastel country, this fabric dye that brought great wealth to this region of France.
As for the sabot’s history it was invented probably by the … Gauls (who, we learn, invented also the barrel), the ancestors of French people, sometime before the 2nd century BC.
Until the 19th century the clog worn in all the layers of the society was the universal footwear. Made of wood, more or less decorated, the sabot was gouged according to the client’s feet, offering a perfect contact surface.
The clog was such a common item in the daily life of people that in French language there are several verbal expressions referring to it:
Dormir comme un sabot = Sleep heavily
Ne pas mettre les pieds dans le meme sabot = Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket
Aboir du foin dans ses sabots = Becoming rich
Voir venir quelqu’un avec ses gros sabots = Somebody has barely hidden intentions
Travailler comme un sabot = Making something of low quality
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!