Harvest Rituals and Superstitions

Bonjour From Brittany

The lives of those who inhabited the rural Brittany of yesteryear were guided by the seasons and their precious hours of daylight. For them, the unpredictable year was punctuated by the key dates of the agrarian and liturgical calendar. With harvest well underway here in today’s Brittany, a look at some of the old rituals, beliefs and superstitions once associated with the agricultural cycle here might be timely.

It was important on the last day of April to put a little salt in the four corners of the pastures in order to protect the cattle from evil spells. Likewise, on Palm Sunday, it was necessary to place blessed branches in the sown field in order to prevent witches from casting a spell on the future harvest. To ensure a good crop of apples in the following year, the fruit trees were surrounded with straw on Christmas Eve. While those wishing…

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