The sights, sounds and tastes of Jersey's traditional past are set to take over the town next month as the Fête du Jèrriais returns with cider, songs, storytelling and bachîn ringing.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural Fête du Jèrriais, the festival celebrating Jersey’s native language is set to return for 2019 in what is UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages.
The festival, organised by L’Office du Jèrriais and supported by Jersey Heritage, will take place between 2 and 5 May.
Pictured: Badlabecques will share the stage with Lihou on 4 May.
The main event of this year’s Fête will be a concert featuring local band Badlabecques and Lihou, a band formed of French, British and Channel Island musicians who will play songs from their recent publication, ‘Traditional Music and Songs of the Channel Islands’.
The book and CD have been released with the support of Jersey Heritage, following a collaboration between the University of Caen and French organisation La Loure, who exists to promote the music and oral traditions of the Normandy region.
The book will be launched on 4 May at 14:30 at Jersey Museum with a talk about the project. The two bands will then perform at 19:30 at the Maritime Museum, to keep with the nautical theme of many of the songs of the Channel Islands.
Pictured: 'd'vant' one of the 12 pieces exhibited at CCA Galleries.
New in the programme this year is 'Cider, Sonnets and Songs', an evening of music and poetry with cider tasting, taking place on 3 May at 19:00 in the Members Room, at the Société Jersiaise.
Local musicians and poets will perform pieces with a Jèrriais connection, be it a song with a Jèrriais title or even an entire poem in the language. Juliette Hart and Stefan Le Marquand, the two poets behind the new poetry group La Poèt'tie, will also be taking part.
The same day will see the launch of an art exhibition at CCA Galleries featuring work by abstract painter Danny Rolph. He will be presenting 12 pieces made out of his signature triple wall paintings, each representing a specific word from ‘Le neu jaune’, the Jèrriais haiku by Geraint Jennings, during a talk at the gallery at 12:30.
Video: Bâchin ringing will also feature.
On the final day of this year’s festival, 5 May, there will be a family event at La Hougue Bie. Building on the success of the launch of a Jèrriais version of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ in 2018, this year will see the publication of a story booklet based on the La Hougue Bie legend of Lord Hambye and the Dragon.
Activities on the day will include storytelling, a ‘dragon trail’, craft activities, traditional dancing and games.
Other festival events include Jèrriais films in the theatre at Jersey Museum, the launch of a Jèrriais version of Jersey Heritage’s Memory Box app, as well as a cultural tour of St. Helier with local history and Jèrriais expert Geraint Jennings culminating in a demonstration of the ancient Jersey tradition of bachîn ringing at CCA.
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