The Tintamarre Tradition
Guest Blogger: Donald Levesque
Wikipedia: Tintamarre is an Acadian tradition of marching through one's community making noise with improvised instruments and other noise makers, usually in celebration of National Acadian Day.
Madawaska's Acadian Festival celebrates 40 years in August. But that's not the best part. The best part is that August 15, Acadian Day, immediately follows the festival this year.
Acadians are French pioneers who came to North America in 1604, several years before the Pilgrims. They settled in what was then known as Acadia, so named by Americus Vespucius, and then much later renamed Nova Scotia by English usurpers.
Starting in 1755 about 14,000 Acadians were forced at gunpoint to leave their homes and everything they owned, except what they could carry. They were deported to various states along the eastern seaboard, the Caribbean, Falkland Island, Britain, and, of course, to France.
Anyway, there is lots and lots of literature on this.
However, of utmost importance to us, is that not all of the Acadians were deported. Some escaped through the forest with the help of the Mi'kmacs and eventually made their way to the St. John Valley where they were given lands by the Maliseet and then were later given land grants by the government of New Brunswick.
In 1884 Acadians from around the world gathered to design a flag, declare August 15 as Acadian Day, as well as select a national anthem and so and so forth.
Part of the traditional celebrations on August 15 is a tintamarre, a noise parade, for lack of better translation. It is a gathering of Acadians around the world heavily armed with noise-makers, such as, pots and pans and spoons and so on.
A tintamarre is a way of telling the world that, no matter how badly the Acadians were treated, no matter how discriminated against they have been, no matter all the crap that has happened, we're still here - hear us roar!
It is a large and boisterous celebration of our Acadian pride.
It happens on August 15, at 5:55 p.m. (17h55), starts at the Cathedral in Edmundston, crosses the international bridge, and then parades down Madawaska's Main Street. The tintamarre will be followed by an evening of musique en français.
Grab a noise maker and join us because anyone can join the tintamarre in support of Acadian culture. It matters only that you are enthusiastic and noisy.
Of course, Madawaska's 40th Annual Acadian Festival will have been ongoing in the days leading up to the tintamarre and you can find a printable schedule here: acadianfestival.com/schedule-of-events.
But you must experience a tintamarre at least once in your life and set free your joie de vivre.
Ont est très fier d'être Acadiens et on a pas peur de l'dire tous haut!
Pro tip: Some people wear earplugs because a tinatmarre can sometimes kick the snot out of some decibels.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!