Monday 28th October
Sunday is market day in Issegeac, and though only quite a small town it has one of the largest markets around. And there always seems to be some sort of a festival going on, or a banquet with rows of huge hams roasting over a fire pit, or crepes being made by the thousand or something. Today, (yesterday) almost on a whim we decided to go to the market there and it was the festival of the pumpkins. In England we are in danger of losing our cultural identity to the American stupidity of Halloween, but here the pumpkin is celebrated in a completely different way. This was simply a festival of pumpkins, squashes and gourds of all shape and size. There were stall after stall selling pumpkins and dried and handpainted gourds, some for eating and some for decoration.
There were three huge bulls in the market square and an old wooden wagon laden with pumpkins, there were two huge pumpkins on a trailer that must have been four feet wide, there was a happy atmosphere as locals and tourists alike crowded through the streets. They seem to need only the slightest idea to start a festival here, there are wine festivals, oyster festivals, and gourmands fetes for every conceivable reason.
And today it was the turn of the pumpkin. We didn’t buy any actual pumpkin but we did bring back three dried and colourful gourds at only a euro each. Coffee and croissants in one of the tiny cafes completed a lovely morning at the Foire aux Potirons.