Christmas Nights in Brittany

Bonjour From Brittany

In Brittany, the magic of Christmas night was once said to have been so complete that no evil could act. It was a time when only the son of man and the toad slept; a moment when animals spoke to each other in the tongues of men and secret, hidden treasures were revealed.

The old tales told in front of the flaming Breton fireplace on a cold winter’s evening were full of magic. Some terrifying, others touching but always entertaining; from the infant Jesus descending the farmhouse chimney to leave gifts for the children of the house, to the Devil striving hard to ensnare innocent souls walking home from church.

The period of the Midnight Mass was popularly believed to be the time when fantastic things happened and key parts of that religious service were said to mark moments of special supernatural power. During the chimes of the midnight bell…

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