A special Valentine’s day in Roquemaure

By | Category: Travel destinations

Wouldn’t it be the most romantic short break to go to where St Valentine lies? Then consider a short break in Roquemaure which is in the south east of France on the banks of the Rhone near Avignon. Every year the residents of the cute town of Roquemaure celebrate the arrival of Saint Valentine’s remains back in 1868.

Valentine was a Christian priest in the 3rd century Rome who would advise young couples their future. Not having enough soldiers to draft, Claudius II outlawed marriage and when Valentine continued to marry couples in secret, threw him in gaol. When he cured the gaoler’s daughter of her blindness, Claudius II sentenced him to death. Valentine he left one last note on the day of his execution (14th February 268AD) for the daughter signed “Your Valentine” and so a romantic tradition was born. Saint Valentine officially became the patron Saint of lovers in 1496 when canonized by Pope Alexander VI.
In celebration, each year Roquemaure reassumes its 19th century look with a festival called La Fête du Baiser -the Festival of the Kiss. Eight hundred traditionally costumed people, horses and carriages take part in an attraction that lures 20,000 people to the town each year. Shop fronts get decorated in a 19th century fashion, the old post office sells souvenir valentine postcards, there is a lovers’ fountain, a market with over 60 ancient trades, a bandstand and wooden merry-go-rounds. The street names are even changed to celebrate the most famous lovers in French Literature.
There are also concerts, street processions, candle lighting opportunities, firework displays and romantic meals aplenty. You can even make a toast in wine from a local vineyard, Cave Saint Valentine.
Now isn’t that better than giving your loved one an overpriced, single red rose?
For more information, click here

Images courtesy of Association Saint Valentin.

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