Hosted at Vieux Port in Cannes, this summer families can enjoy free events that demonstrate the old tradition of provençale joutes.
Cannes : History of the Joutes Provençales
Joutes provençales originate from the Egyptian era; fishermen from the French Riviera originally set up a ladder on their boats and over time it has become a true festival with nautical combats and dives, practised in Provence.
The city of Cannes acquired two jousting boats in 1949, suitably named Le Sainte-Marguerite and Le Saint-Honorat, but with a lack of jousters the boats remained in storage from 2004. After the election of David Lisnard to the position of Mayor, he relaunched this Cannois tradition in 2014 to support local culture and encourage visitors to Cannes.
Today, the sport is hotly contested by 16 joutes provençales companies from the Var and Côte d’Azur including Cannes, Théoule, Agay, Fréjus, La Ciotat and Saint-Raphael with the ‘rules’ being that opponents stand on a boat and try to send their opponent into the water using a wooden spear (opponents wear a wooden breastplate to protect them).
One opponent is the ‘jouster’ who stands on a raised platform called a teinteine; the other team member ensures the jouster does not catch the spear. Contestants must place their left food forward of a white line on the platform, otherwise if their right foot crosses the line at the time of joust they are disqualified.
When are the ‘Joutes Provençales’ in Cannes?
Starting from tomorrow (18 June) and running until 18 August, Cannes will host 5 Joutes Provençales events on various Friday nights and all-day selected Sundays.
Organized by the Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard, in collaboration with L’association des Jeunes Jouteurs suquetans and CCI Nice Côte d’Azur, all are welcome to Quai Saint Pierre to enjoy this traditional activity. The 2017 Joutes Provençales programme is:
- Sunday 18 June 2017 from 9am to 6pm (Round 1 of the Var-Côte d’Azur championship to qualify for the French championship staged in Istres, L’Estaque, Agay and Martigues this summer)
- Friday 23 June 2017 from 7pm to 11pm (Challenge of the Rotary Club Cannes Pays de Lérins tournament sponsored by Rotary)
- Sunday 23 July 2017 from 9am to 6pm (Another round of the Var-Côte d’Azur championship)
- Friday 04 August 2017 from 7pm to 11pm (‘Tournoi de la St Sauveur’, in the presence of various teams of the region)
- Friday 18 August 2017 from 7pm to 11pm (Challenge Le Mashou)
- Watch a video of the Joutes Provençales in Cannes here (video: CannesWebTV):