Every 24th and 25th of May, in the land of pink flamingos and white wild horses, the village of Saintes Maries de la Mer, situated in a vast delta on the french Regional Natural Park of Camargue, is filled with intense fervor on the occasion of the Pilgrimages. In this time, Roma, Sinti, Manouche and Gypsies come from the four corners of Europe and even from other continents to venerate their Saint, Sara Kali. For eight or ten days they are here at home, settled down in the streets, playing the guitar or accordeon on the bars when the girls dance hearing the music around of tourists trying to get the best photos. The pilgrimage is also the occasion of reunion, and most of the children are baptized in the church of Saintes.
Known as the "Patroness" of the Gypsies, the origine of Sara is even today confuse. A Camargue’s tradition sees the servant of the Saints Maries Jacobé and Salomé in Palestine, and their companion on the banks of the Rhone. Another tradition, attributed to the Gypsies, sees there a Gypsy who was installed on the Provençal shores and who, first, welcomed here the exiles of the promised Land. If other versions were also proposed, in truth, no one knows who Sara is, or how her worship was instituted at the Saints Maries de la Mer, where they came to pray her from far before the Revolution. For the Gypsies, who recognized her and adopted her as their appointed protector, she was "Sara-la-Kali", a Gypsy word which means both "gypsy" and "black". The statue of Sara, carried by the Gypsies, to the sea, symbolizes the waiting and reception of the Saints Maries Jacobé and Salomé. On the 25th of May, after the solemn Mass in the morning, the "barque", with on board the statues of the two Maries, is carried to the sea, accompanied by the crowd of Gypsy and non-Gypsy pilgrims, by the Gardians on horseback and Arlésiennes in costume. The porters advance to the sea, to symbolize the arrival of the Saints Maries Jacobé, Salomé and the Faith, by the sea while the bishop, on board a traditional fishing boat, blesses the sea, the country, the pilgrims and the Gypsies.