We are five days away from the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. As a result the sun doesn’t come up until 9h00 and is down by 17h00, so getting up on Sunday for the Fête de la Dinde in Licques was somewhat of a challenge. But it was worth it.
Every year the town of Licques holds a festival in honour of the turkey. A hundred or so turkeys are paraded along the main street of the village followed by the town dignitaries. I had the camera set on a high ISO in anticipation of a fast and active turkey dash but it ended up being a very slow and stagnant move through the crowd. The turkeys did little more than amble, quite comfortable with all of the attention and un-miffed by the hundreds of people that had come to watch.
The town is famous for its traditionally reared organic turkey and has been celebrating this event since the 17th century. I was moved to find that they have celebrated this event for such a long time. The town continues to show enduring adoration and appreciation for an animal that has provided, I imagine, many local jobs and much financial security for the town.
As part of the festivities there was also a brilliant food producers market. There were wines, cheeses, a variety of milks and icecreams, honey, fresh, cured and conserved meats and of course … fresh turkey.
In the main square there is a stone statue of a turkey showing just how important this bird is to the towns people. Behind it, just for this special day was a gigantic cauldron brewing the town’s famed liqueur ‘Licquoise’. Unfortunately I was completely engaged with ‘chasing’ the ambling turkeys that I missed the drinking of the contents of the cauldron … fortunately there’s always next year!