Last Sunday was our village pardon.
This is a very old traditional event especially celebrated in Western Brittany.
The day starts with a special mass at the church, then a procession through the village carrying the statue of St Gilles. The procession passes the fountain ( a source of spring water ) and then onto a big field.
In the field is a huge bonfire. The centre of the fire holds a simple wooden cross which eventually burns.
The statue of the saint and religious banners are held facing the fire.
many believe the origins of the fire go back to pagan times.
St Gilles lived the life of a hermit his only companion being a hind who many believed sustained him with her milk.
One day the king and his hunters went into the forest and aimed an arrow at the deer but St Gilles protected the hind and the arrow pierced him instead . The deer was saved and stayed with the saint. St Gilles is recognised as a saint for cripples, lepers and nursing mothers.
The village then enjoys a four course meal together, family and relatives come back to their village on this day and there is a real party atmosphere of young and old, friends meeting annually on this special day.
After the meal there is an auction of hens, chickens and rabbits.
All the animals are alive and the children often urge family to bid, or bids themselves.
The rabbits are especially popular as they really appeal to the children ( not to eat of course !!!)
This year the afternoon ended with dancing to Breton music.
We were lucky this year to have a lovely sunny day enjoyed by young and old.
|Mr P joins in the dancing.|