Special Cultural Events in Marseille: 3,000 Sheep and a Woman Riding Three Horses Marching on the Street

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These pictures capture the incredible scenes as a woman mounted on three horses led thousands of sheep through the French city of Marseille.

A horsewoman of the Theatre du Centaure stands on her horses and leads sheep

They were taken yesterday during festivities held to celebrate Marseille-Provence being named the 2013 European Capital of Culture.

Transhumance is the seasonal migration when herds are moved to grazing grounds. Camille (right) of the Theatre du Centaure stands on her horses

The visually-stunning parade was called ‘TransHumance’, after the seasonal migration of people with their livestock when herds are moved to new grazing grounds.

Thousands of onlookers lined the route of the unusual procession

It was organised by the equestrian troupe of the Theatre du Centaure, with 7000 animals passing through the city centre with tens of thousands of people watching.

The festivities marked Marseille-Provence being named the 2013 European Capital of Culture

More than 150 Provençal and Italian herdsmen, using teams of horses and dogs, will cross Marseille, before finally stopping on the beaches of Marseille’s iconic Prado in ‘a poetic journey celebrating nature’.

This image gives a sense of the scale of the herd as it moves throught the city

The 600 kilometre journey starts out a two different points and merges in l’Etang des Aulnes, before making the final journey towards Marseille. The riders were joined by walkers from all backgrounds and nationalities.

Shepherds from France and Italy helped keep the animals in tight formation
A shepherd (left) helps lead thousands of sheep at the Old Port of Marseille

It added: ‘Modern ways of communication and transport force the world to live in the same rhythm. Temporality is not respected anymore. ‘By travelling together one can slow down one’s pace of life and experience the seasonal movement of people and cattle in the same way people did in ancient times, though in TransHumance’s case with a modern twist.’

The sheep pictured before the start of TransHumance
3000 sheep marching on the street

At each stage of the journey the choreographed movements of animals will be photographed from the air. These images will be used to create a mosaic of the different landscapes of Provence.

By: Daily Mail


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