Variations of this Romance language of southern France dating back to second century BC and known as Langue d’Oc are still believed to be spoken by 1.5 million people in everyday life in France although French is their official language. In fact, Occitan has more in common with Spanish than French and its territory spreads from the Mediterranean to Aquitaine and the Pyrenees to the Loire.
Some surprising words have their origins in the language, such as cauliflower - caulet flori originally.
Today the Institut d’Etudes Occitanes (IEO) in Toulouse is actively promoting the language and you may see it on signs, especially for place names. Ironically many of those who speak the language today are elderly and not those who would have an interest in reading or writing it. Ask at Tourist Offices about cultural events relating to Occitania.
27 - 28 May 2018
The regional tradition of moving cattle to high pastures to feed for the summer is known as transhumance. Men and animals process out through the town in festive atmosphere and favourite cows are decorated with flowers and ribbons.
In Aubrac, there is a day long festival of events for all the family - guess the weight of the bull, traditional food and music etc. Tel: (00 33) 5 65 44 21 15 and see French website www.traditionsenaubrac.com
Also, Espalion - procession begins at the Vieux Pont and from la Place de la Fontaine at St-Come d’Olt. Enquire at Tourist Offices for dates and more details.
19 - 21 July July 2018
Free concerts and shows. Medieval market including actors and jugglers.
Contact Rodez Tourist Office for details. Tel: (00 33) 5 65 02 27
Traditional dancing, roasted chestnuts, traditional crafts and apple pressing. Tel: Tourist Office (00 33) 5 65 72 02 52
Please check precise details and dates with event organisers before making your holiday and travel arrangements.