The photographer and Pyrenean enthusiast Eugène Trutat photographed the brandon of Saint-Aventin in 1898. The original negatives on glass plate are kept in the Library of Toulouse. Today, the Saint-Aventin brandon takes place by the Castillon-de-Larboust junction. It is organized both by the village council and the Saint-Aventin festival committee. A conifer is prepared a few months before festivities: split lengthwise, it is held open with wooden wedges to dry out, covered with straw, and set up for the day of the feast. Villagers enjoy an apéritif before the brandon is set on fire at dusk. According to custom, the parish priest blesses the brandon and then the oldest person in the village lights the straw at the foot of the brandon. The St. John’s Eve brandon normally takes place on the Friday following June 23 (depending on the local holiday).
For more information : https://cc-pyreneeshautgaronnaises.fr/decouvrir/agenda/335-brandon, https://www.saint-aventin.fr/actualites/brandon-de-saint-aventin-2/
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Brandon and coat of arms of Saint-Aventin, June 22, 2018 © Patricia Heiniger-Castéret.
St John’s Eve tree, Luchon [environs], St Aventin, Sept 1898, by Eugène Trutat, cote TRUC 187, Bibliothèque de Toulouse.
Photograph of the brandon of Saint-Aventin in an August 21, 2020 article in La Dépêche