Picture of the day

Transhumance in Aubrac

(continuer en français)

Every year on the weekend closest to 25 May, the Transhumance in Aubrac takes place. This is a part of the Aveyron, a department in the south of France that has kept its rural traditions alive. The Aubrac cows are therefore herded by road from the valleys to the mountain pastures to spend the summer months. For the first few kilometres the herd runs away, before adopting a slower pace the rest of the way.

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  1. Sounds a bit like y youth in SouthernAlberta, where we (on horseback) drove the catlle to summer pasture in the foothliis. Keeping control of that herd was a challenge too. Perhaps the bovines smelled freedom. Hope all is well. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    • That must have been something! Horses are not part of the French tradition, you have to walk with the cows and indeed at the beginning they are impatient to get back to the summer pastures. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love rural traditions like that, they are great to see. In Zabljak in Montenegro, we watched the cattle come through the village same time every afternoon. As far as we could make out, no humans were involved, they seemed to just wander back home (or wherever) once per day.

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    • It must have been an entertaining sight when you are used to cattle enclosed in meadows. This is also what llamas do in the Andes, they come back to the farm in the evening after having roamed freely during the day. Thank you for sharing your memories.

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  3. Love these traditions. They also have them in Switzerland and I was once in Lucerne for the end of the pasteurising season (is that the right term?) when the cows were brought back down from the mountains to much dancing and signing – and drinking – in the streets. The staid Swiss really let their hair down at that event.

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    • The Transhumance also involves celebrations, which are a little more commercialised nowadays. In a life of hard work, it was necessary to be able to have fun from time to time and the moments of transition in the organisation of the work were a good reason for this. Thank you for commenting.


  4. We visited the transhumance in Aubrac about 15 years ago. There was quite a stampede through the village as the cows scented their freedom ahead! It was very cold that year, despite being the end of May. It snowed there the day after. There was a great atmosphere, although as you say above, it’s more commercialised nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is good to be able to get close to the rural world in a pleasant way, it is not so easy to penetrate when you come from elsewhere. In addition to the show and the traditions, it is a great opportunity to interact with the local population.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.


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