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French Folklore

I explore the legends that surround France and its lore. From it’s creatures to the most famous knight Sir Lancelot.

Here’s Sir Lancelot and Guinevere.

A piece of text that is about Huron of Bordeaux..

The Gargouille. 

Jean de L’Ours

France is a favorite country of mine, mostly because of their history and their really good films. But now I’m looking at France in a different way than I normally do. It’s legends and lore.

Aenotherus

The body guard of Emperor Charlemagne in french medieval folklore. The warrior was so large that he threw the whole battalions like mowing grass. Aenotherus was from Turgan which lies near lake of Constance.

Huon of Bordeaux

Is the title of the epic Chanson de Geste. Huon is a knight who unwittingly kills Charlot (son of Charlemagne) and is given a number of impossible tasks to complete instead of death for his crime. For his sake all of these takes are finished and with the help of the fairy king Oberon.

Le Pere Fouettard

Is a character who accompanies St. Nicholas on St. Nicholas day dispensing lumps of coal and flogs naughty children. While he does that St. Nick is giving the well behaved children presents. A gruesome story about how he came to accompany St. Nick was he drugged three boys, slit their throats, had cut them in pieces, and stewed them. St. Nick discovered discovered the crime and had resurrected the children. Le Pere Fouettard repents and becomes the partner of St. Nicholas.

Sir Lancelot

A famous knight from Arthur’s Round Table who first appeared as the main character in Chretien de Troyes, Le Chevalier de la Chanette. Lancelot is best known interestingly enough for the affair with King Arthur’s wife Guinevere and for searching for the Holy Grail. He is very iconic in legends.

Pere Noel

Is the legendary gift-giver during Christmas Eve. In English he is Father Christmas and Santa Claus. Anyway according to tradition children leave their shoes by the fireplace filled with carrots and treats for Pere Noel’s donkey. If the child is good, he leaves presents in the place of the treats for the donkey.

Matagot

A spirit under the form of an animal, can  be anyway animal really but is mostly the black cat. They are generally evil but in some stories it can be helpful. Like for example the story of the “magician cat” who said to bring wealth in a home if it is well fed.

Jean de L’Ours 

A legend that originated from a village located in the Pyrenees Mountains. The story is about a woman and a bear who bore a child named Jean de L’Ours. His life involves defeating the devil, meeting new friends, and lives the rest of his life in happiness with his wife (a princess) and his mother. They all live in a castle far in the forest.

Reynard Cycle

Are fables that are largely concerned with Reynard, who is  a red fox that is always portrayed as trickster. Like in most myths, fables, and legends, the fox always seems to be the trickster.

Lou Carcolh

A mythical beast that is both a serpent and a mollusk. It was massive and carried an enormous shell upon its back. Has very slimy tentacles and had a gigantic mouth that could swallow their victims hole. A not very pleasant sounding.

Dames Blanches

Were female spirits who were reported to live in the region of Lorraine and Normandy. They appeared in the Pyrenees Mountains. They lurked in narrow places like ravines, fords, and bridges. They would try to attract travelers attention and force them to do things in order to pass bridges. If the traveler refused to do what these female spirits say (such as dancing with them or to pass the bridge on their knees) then they were tormented by lutins, cats, and owls.

Gargouille

A serpent-like water-spouting dragon that appeared in the Seine River. It would terrorized boats and flood the lands near the river. St. Romain is said to have slaughtered the beast. Some legends say that the dragon was burned.

That is just some of the pieces of the rich folklore of France.

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