World Record-Breaking Smurf Gathering Occurs In France

The world may be on high alert due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but even [...]

The world may be on high alert due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but even public health warnings to avoid crowds couldn't stop a group from coming together in France to break the world record for largest gathering of people dressed as Smurfs. On Saturday, over 3,500 people dressed in blue met up in Landerneau in the western part of France to smash the previous world record set last year in Germany.

According to AFP, 3,549 Smurfs fans showed up for the record-breaking event on Saturday. The event came in just under the wire in terms of social gatherings as on Sunday, France banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people. For Smurfs fans, however, the threat of the coronavirus wasn't ever a real concern.

"We figured we wouldn't worry, and that as French people we wouldn't give up on our attempt to break the record," one Smurfs fan said. "Now we're champions of the world."

"There's no risk, were Smurfs" they added. "Yes, we're going to Smurferize the coronavirus."

Last February, a gathering of nearly 3,000 Smurfs fans came together in Lauchringen, Germany to break the 2009-set record of 2,510 people dressed as Smurfs. With the German group's world record being short-lived, it remains to be seen if another group will make the attempt again in 2021 with an even larger gathering.

The Smurfs were first created by Peyo, a Belgian cartoonist who introduced the small, blue, human-like characters who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest in 1958 as Les Schtroumpfs. There are over 100 Smurf characters, all with names based on adjectives that match up to their characteristics. The "Smurf" name is a Dutch translation of the French "schtroumpf," a word Peyo claimed to have invented when he forgot the word for salt. The Smurfs hit the United States in 1981 in an animated cartoon from Hannah-Barbera with Peyo as supervisor. Since then, the characters have appeared in multiple movies, including 2011's The Smurfs, 2013's The Smurfs 2, and 2017's Smurfs: The Lost Village.

As for the gathering and coronavirus concerns, as of the time of this article's writing France has around 1,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the fifth most in the world. There have been 21 recorded deaths due to COVID-19 in France as well.

What do you think about this latest world-record breaking Smurf event in France over the weekend? Let us know in the comments below.