Holiday on a riverboat in Camargue

Two rows of men in black hats with white stallions bearing the lances - they also guard a statie wrapped in a piece of gold fabric. Around the riders plenty of people shout and sing "Vive Sainte Sara". Musicians play flamenco music on guitars. The riders and the crowd walk towards the sea and seems to move as a whole - as a mixture of a religious procession and a feast.

Each year the 24th of May the small town of Saintes-maries-de-la-Mer hosts gypsy pilgrimage. The legend of St. Sara can be dated back to the 16th century. The pilgrimage is a unique opportunity for Europe's gypsies and they gather to show their faith and culture and celebrate. The medieval church of Saint-Maries is home of Sara-la-Kali (the black Madonna) - the statuette as will be carried to sea by the riders the 24th of May. She is not acknowledged by the Vatican, but celebrated as the most important saint of the gypsies. A visit to the crypt where the Black Madonna is kept is important for the gypsies. Here you can buy light and pray to her, that she will help you with the problems that plague you.

The day after they repeat the procession - and with two Marys - and at a more leisurely pace. This day events with bullfighting will also take place as well as horseshows. If you are in Camargue on a boating holiday in May drop by this lovely village and enjoy the gypsy event.