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Home > History > The Saint Vincent Festivals
Saint Vincent's Day Celebrations

According to the religious calendar, the Feast of St Vincent is celebrated on the 22nd of January.

On the 22nd of January then, all the villages along Burgundy’s wine-growing slopes would celebrate St Vincent’s Day with a ritual which was more or less identical in each case : a procession followed by the celebration of a mass and /or a general assembly of the brotherhood. The families of the wine-growers who belonged to the brotherhood would then join in a communal meal, a pig having been slaughtered for the occasion. Finally, St Vincent’s effigy was borne by the procession from the household which had given it shelter through the last year to the family who was to receive it for the coming year.

In every village, St Vincent would pass – or “turn” – in this fashion from one wine-grower’s household to the next. By the 1930s, all that remained of the St Vincent’s Day celebrations was the communal dinner of roast pig still occasionally served in some of Burgundy’s households.

Then in 1934, the founders of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin decided it was time to revive the traditional festival.

22nd January 1934 :a roast pig banquet was held in the Caveau Nuiton.
In 1934, at a time when the French wine industry was in a state of crisis, Camille Rodier and Georges Faiveley created the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and placed the rehabilitation of the Feast of St Vincent at the head of their list of priorities.

Consequently, on the 22nd of January 1934, in the unique setting of the Caveau Nuiton, vineyard owners, wine-merchants, wine-growers from different parts of Burgundy and their guests sat down together around copiously laid-out tables for an informal roast pig dinner.

The Cellar in Nuits-Saint-GeorgesThis convivial event was repeated annually for the next four years, growing ever more lively and the tables being ever more generously laden. But something was lacking. The Feast of St Vincent had to be celebrated in public and it had to reassume its original character with all the traditional ritual including the mass in honour of St Vincent and the colourful procession.

The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin worked hard to re-establish a Feast of St Vincent which was not only wider in scope but also, dare we say, complete in all its essentials.

Consequently, on the 22nd of January 1934, in the unique setting of the Caveau Nuiton, vineyard owners, wine-merchants, wine-growers from different parts of Burgundy and their guests sat down together around copiously laid-out tables for an informal roast pig dinner.

This convivial event was repeated annually for the next four years, growing ever more lively and the tables being ever more generously laden. But something was lacking. The Feast of St Vincent had to be celebrated in public and it had to reassume its original character with all the traditional ritual including the mass in honour of St Vincent and the colourful procession.

The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin worked hard to re-establish a Feast of St Vincent which was not only wider in scope but also, dare we say, complete in all its essentials.

No one was suggesting the eating, drinking and general conviviality should be abandoned.

But to be truly authentic once again, the event needed to pick up the broken threads of its religious origins. These lay after all in the cult of the saint.

There was also the matter of local tradition and custom, since the effigies, processional staffs and other symbolic artefacts were bound up as much with the social history of the original brotherhoods as with religious devotion.


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Pourquoi Saint Vincent est-il le patron des vignerons ? Né en Espagne, saint Vincent était diacre de Saragosse au début du IVe siècle. Il fut martyrisé par ordre du préfet Dacien à Valence et mourut sous les tortures le 22 janvier 304. Si l'élection de saint Vincent par les vignerons reste mystérieuse, voici quelques hypothèses… Elle pourrait n'être simplement due qu'à la première syllabe de son nom "vin". Le mystère de Saint Vincent : La date de la saint Vincent, le 22 janvier, correspond généralement à une période climatique de transition entre l'état d'hibernation de la vigne et celle du retour de la végétation ("à la saint Vincent, l'hiver s'en va ou se reprend") et surtout, autrefois, au début de la taille. On peut aussi interpréter "Vincent" comme "Vin Sang", le sang de la vigne.
L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé, consommez avec modération    # Design Milkyweb