today’s holiday: La Quintaine

La Quintaine

St. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, is honored each year in the French town of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat by a ceremony in which 30 men carry the quintaine, a three-foot-high box painted to resemble a prison, to the church to be blessed. Afterward, they mount it on a post and strike it with mallets as they gallop by on horseback. Fragments of the smashed quintaine are said to bring good luck and to make hens lay eggs. More… Discuss

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