hidden europe 22

Blessed bread

by hidden europe


The rituals of religion take a strange turn in the Savoie village of Bramans in the French Alps. We report on the significance of the pain bénit (blessed bread) festival that is held in Bramans on 15 August each year.

August is the finest month for crossing the Col du Mont Cenis. Summer sun has melted most of last winter's snow to reveal delicate orchids. Approaching from the south, you crest the top of the pass and there ahead lies La Vanoise, France's first (and many would say finest) national park. The road drops down in a heady series of zig-zags to the Arc Valley and suddenly you are in a perfect Savoie landscape, with little villages clustered around churches on the floor of the valley. Some say that Hannibal came this way with his elephants.

Bramans is one of the larger communities in the upper portion of the Arc valley. It is a village surrounded by mountains.

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