GREEN for people who will be celebrating their 20th birthday in the year
YELLOW for people who will be celebrating their 30th birthday in the year
ORANGE for people who will be celebrating their 40th birthday in the year
RED for people who will be celebrating their 50th birthday in the year
BLUE for people who will be celebrating their 60th birthday in the year
PURPLE for people who will be celebrating their 70th birthday in the year
RED WHITE AND BLUE for people who will be celebrating their 80th, 90th, or 100th birthday in the year
Every year, one Sunday in February, the conscrits parade through the streets of Anse. They are elegantly dressed in a dinner suit with a white scarf and gloves. They each carry a bouquet of red carnations and mimosa in a white doily. On their head is a top hat adorned with a ribbon showing the conscrit’s age.
History of the Conscrit Festival
During the Second French Empire (in around 1850), two youths from Villefranche (a town near Anse) decided to go to the conscription office where they would draw lots to see if they were conscripted or not, in style. For their meeting with the military authorities, they donned good black suits, crowned with a top hat circled by a green ribbon. Little did they know that for years, maybe even centuries, their act of bravado, recklessness or derision, would make the Caladois region (region of Villefranche), followed by all of Beaujolais and a part of the Saône Valley the ‘Home of Conscrits’, with its traditions and rites that can be found nowhere else. The Conscrit Festival was born!
The next year, all the 20-year-old youths who were to draw lots for conscription wore the same outfit. That is why, every year, the Sunday preceding the frightening prospect of being conscripted for 8 years (or worse), it was important to the conscrits to celebrate publically. For one last time, they could feel equal… because they were the same age and fate had not yet pulled them apart. Later, under the III French Republic, the men of 40 joined them to celebrate the anniversary of their own lot drawing, then the 60-year-olds…. and the rest.
Today, the ‘Conscrits’ have become an institution that is deeply rooted in our terroir. The celebration brings all generations together, class by class, in a wave steeped in popular tradition
LONG LIVE TO THE ‘CONSCRITS’!