Mixed race 'Joan of Arc' brings new twist to 589-year old tradition

The Joan of Arc annual festival (Fetes de Jeanne d'Arc) kicked off in Orleans on Sunday with one difference from previous years — the heroine was for the first time impersonated by a mixed-race high school student. Scores of locals and tourists gathered to watch the opening commemorative ceremony of the ‘Joan of Arc Festival’ with a heroine whose choice drew a lot of attention in social media... Еще, 17-year-old Mathilde Edey Gamassou. In 1429, the ‘Maid of Orleans,’ France’s own 17-year-old heroine, arrived in the besieged city of Orleans during the Hundred Year’s War and helped the French army gain important victories against the English. Since 1430, the French people and the city of Orleans commemorate Joan of Arc’s heroic achievements by performing a re-enactment with a 17-year-old local girl impersonating her. The festival starts every year on April 29 and ends on May 8.

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