In July and August, take your place by the port as the
boys and young men of Marseillan compete in the eccentric local sport known as Lou Capelet or the cours de la bigue.
Dating back to an obscure naval recruitment ritual, the event is charged with as much pastis as testosterone as competitors are obliged to drink a Ricard in every bar in town before the games begin.
A ship's mast is liberally greased, swivelled across a barge and suspended over the water.
The lads compete to race up the slippery pole and grab a hat perched at the very end. The town band plays, the mayor salutes the sportsmen, carnival queens flutter their eyelashes at their champions and an excitable running commentary keeps the crowds informed as prize money rises higher throughout the afternoon.
Of course, they all end up in the water. Whilst, for spectators, the wine flows freely at cafe tables. This explosion of estival exhuberance talkes place on the 14th of July (the afternoon after the fireworks and bastille Eve ball, and before the Bastille Night ball) and again on Marseillan's summer festival on August 16 (sandwiched between another two nights of partying and dancing in the streets).
Throughout the summer, live concerts are staged in the squares of the village and port with dancing until late. Live music too at the Oyster and big name music festivals right by the waterfront.
At the begining and end of Summer, Harley and Goldwing bikes reflect the sunshine during weekends of music and celebration of dazzling chrome and customised leathers. The main event is the Brescoudos gathering at Cap d'Agde.
Visit us in July & August for the Jousting season, here in Marseillan, at nearby Agde and across the lagoon on the canals of Sète. They take this water battle very seriously here.
The St Louis trophy fought for by Sète's finest is as big here as a rugby international. Imagine the World Cup and Grand National, with just a touch of It's a Knockout! Sometimes a travelling circus pitches tent in the port of Marseillan, the festival de Thau brings world music and jazz to the waterside and on other days a classical concert may be held in the cool shade of the village church.