Europe,  France

Anthem of Bayonne

Heading to the city center… people are already celebrating, promising another night of dancing and singing, drinking and cheering!

There are several stages with different performances across the city center and we are heading to one.

But it is very busy in here and through the crowds we make our way to the main stage. In order not to lose anyone, we hold the red scarf attached to the waist of the person in front of us and off we go following each other.

 As we walk along, we greet the people passing by “OLÉÉÉ!” and we get back another greeting with a lifting of the hat or a glass half full! “OOOLLÉÉÉ”. Everybody is very friendly!

I stop when I feel my scarf tighten in my waist, which means the one behind me are having trouble to follow. When I stop, so do all those ahead by feeling their scarfs tightening too. Slowly, stopping and walking, we arrived all together, just in time to listen to the Anthem of Bayonne!

Everybody hold the little red scarfs and lift them while singing….

Allez Allezz! 
Le Bleu est Blanc
De l’Avirons Bayonnais
C’est la Peña,
C’est la Peña Baiona
On est tous lá
Allez les gars
Encore une fois!” 

Others seat in a row on the floor and they hold whoever adventures to do crowd surfing or what they call a Paquito!

Following my friends, I find myself sitting on the floor, in a row, all facing the same way. At first we all just move the arms back and forward singing along the song, then here he comes… a guy is crowd surfing over the row of people, and he is getting closer and closer… Aahhh!, he is heavier than he looks. But in the end we managed to pass a few people and without realizing I find myself in front of the row! I must have looked confused because my friend shouts – “it’s your turn!

What?! – Quickly the thoughts and worries that any girl who ever considers doing crowd surfing hits my head: where are those hands going to touch?!

My friend shouts again – “Go Andreia, it’s fun!”

Hmmmm, ooooo-kay, it will be all right – I thought. In an impulse I face the Paquito, I put my arms straight up in the air and lean forward over the row of people sitting, making myself as light as I can be.

WOWW, WOOOWW, WOOOWW! It all happens so fast! It felt like I was going to fall so many times, but another hand caught me, and again and again. You can’t really tell where they are holding you exactly, but somehow they made me float all the way till the end of the row where people helped me to stand.

When all this got to the end I just wanted to say “encore une fois“: repeat the Paquito, repeat the Bayonne’s anthem and all this amazing festivity!

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