Storytellers Agency
Breton sailor
Are you a true connoisseur of Brittany?

Breton folklore and traditions

Tales and legends, menhirs, dances and gastronomy… In Britain, traditions have more than one trick up their sleeve! Like the Corsicans, the least we can say is that the Bretons have character, and it is not those of Dinan-Cap Fréhel who will tell you the opposite. Close to their culture, they strive to preserve their rich and complex folklore. 

Are you planning your vacation in Côtes-d'Armor and wondering if you will be able to integrate with the locals? That’s good, we’ve prepared a little quiz for you (native Bretons, we’re not giving anything away 😏)! Put on your raincoats and take a dictionary with you, we'll test your knowledge of Breton folklore!

 

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Deoc’h da c’hoari! (It’s up to you!) 👇

1. What is the famous Breton flag called?
🏁 The Gwen Ha Du
➕ The Triskell
🐁 The Ermine

2. We find the traces of Gargantua: 

🏘️ In the streets of Brest
⛵ In Saint-Cast-le-Guildo
🏖️ On the Quiberon peninsula

3. For you, Kouign Amann is:
🍏 Apples and bubbles in a bowl
🥧 Egg, flour and possibly prunes
🥞 Breton salted butter, sugar and sticky fingers

4. What does Degemer mat mean?
🙏 Thank you friend!
👋 Welcome! 
✌️Goodbye!

5. For you, what is a fest-noz?
💃 A ball of traditional Breton dances
🤧 A Breton expression which means “Blow your nose!”
🥣 A personalized Breton bowl

©The Storytellers
Breton flag above Fort Lalatte
©The Storytellers
salted butter caramel gavottes
Alexandre Lamoureux
Oyster tasting at Le Guildo

Eager to know the answers? 🙃

1. 🏁The Gwen Ha Du: the symbol of Brittany!

 

You must have encountered him during a match, a concert or an event. Black and white bands, ermine spots with, at the end of the standard, a very determined Breton. Yes, you understood: Gwen Ha Du is none other than the name of the Breton flag! Created by

Morvan Marchal in the last century, it also celebrated its 2023th anniversary in 100! 

Symbol of Brittany par excellence, legend has it that its ermine spots come from King Conan Mériadec who is said to have picked up an ermine (in a way the totem animal of Brittany) to prevent it from soiling his coat in the mud.

© pixabay
Breton flag

An essential piece of local folklore, ideal for perfecting your perfect Breton outfit! Add to that a sailor top, a triskell around your neck and a Breton bowl with your name on it and you will definitely blend in with the Bretons! 

📍Good addresses to camouflage yourself among the Bretons:

👉Itoha's Shop
Barge Donata, 80 rue du Quai de Dinan, Dinan

👉 Caps bay workshop
2 Shopping Alley in Beaussais-sur-Mer 

👉 The Emerald Coast Biscuits
26-28 Rue de La Croix aux Merles, in Saint-Cast-le-Guildo

The Storytellers
Boutique dinan Deewi sailor backpack

For even more addresses 👇🏻

2.🧚 Gargantua on the Emerald Coast:
Brittany, a land of legends

In Brittany, History mixes with legends: it's impossible to take stock of Breton folklore without mentioning them! 

Breton mythology and tales no longer have to make their reputation, starting with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin in the forest of Brocéliande! But, if the fairies Morgane and Viviane are not the only ones to have wandered in the region, we can come across the traces of many other creatures from Breton mythology! 

While some fear the Ankou, who carries away souls on his creaking cart (a friendly legend inherited from Celtic mythology), others look for the marks of the passage of Gargantua, the famous Rabelais giant. A native of Plévenon, he would have made a stop at Dinan, vomits Ringing stones in Saint-Cast-le-Guildo, left a trace from foot to foot Fort the Latte, dragged a toe here, a finger there... (this colossus is not very organized... 🤫).

It must be said that his passage, combined with other multiple Breton legends, is very practical in explaining the menhirs and dolmens that can be found almost everywhere around Dinan-Cap Fréhel (and elsewhere in Brittany)...

©scaled
Pleslin trivagoud drill

📍To follow in the footsteps of Ankou, King Arthur or Gargantua: 

👉The menhir hike in Vaux Garou
Town center, Pleslin-Trigavou

👉The Menhir of Tiemblais
Saint-Samson-sur-Rance

To learn more about Celtic art and symbols, discover the work of David Balade, author-illustrator on Celtic graphics and symbolism: 

👉 David Balade’s studio-gallery
23 rue des Tilleuls, Saint-Lormel

©scaled
Typical Breton storefront

3. 🥞Kouign amann: a concentrate of Breton gastronomy

If the adage says “don't eat too fatty, too sweet, too salty”, Breton gastronomy answers “kouign amann”. Breton butter, puff pastry, caramelized sugar and a good dose of stuck fingers, that's what you need for a successful kouign amann tasting! 🤤

But it would be VERY simplistic to summarize Breton gastronomy with its tradition of salted butter and caramel. Gavottes®, Far Breton, smoked fish and other seafood products, pancakes and pancakes, cider and mineral water... There are specialties in Brittany. Knowing Breton folklore is also a taste for it!

The Storytellers
The Storytellers
©the Storytellers
Breton pancake
A.Lamoureux

(I.e.Good places in Dinan-Cap-Fréhel to taste Breton folklore: 

👉 Shop Les Gavottes®
Route de Dinard, Dinan

👉 Val de Rance cider house
Les celliers Associés, 24 rue de Dinan, Pleudihen-sur-Rance

👉 Plancoët Mineral Water
Rue de Sassay, Plancoët

👉 The Smokehouse of Saint-Cast
4 rue Jacques Cartier, Saint-Cast-le-Guildo

👉 Marion’s Fish
Le Val Saint-Michel, Plurien

👉 The Landes farm in Saint-Cast-le-Guildo
3 All. des Landes, 22380 Saint-Cast-le-Guildo

👉 Margelys crackers 
6 La Ventouzerie in Plumaudan

© Paco's Eye
Shows, entertainment and events at Saint Cast le Guildo

4. 👋 Degemer mat: Welcome to Brittany!

Maël, Ewen, Gendal, Maiwenn, Aziliz, Morvan… Breton first names can be found everywhere in France! Very old, most date back to the 5th or 6th century BC, when the Bretons from Great Britain came to settle in Armorica. Some are even linked to Arthurian legend, like Arzhur or Marzhin!

But upon arriving in Armorica, the Celts not only brought back their first names and legends! They brought back an entire language! A true emblem of folklore and Breton identity, it is nevertheless in danger of extinction, due to a lack of transmission... To compensate for this, here is a small glossary, to continue to disseminate the Breton language in the world (speak Breton if you can, it’s important): 

France, Côtes d'Armor (22), Saint-Cast-le-Guildo
breton bowl

Degemer mat : Welcome 
Kenavo : Bye
Noz vat  : Good night
trugarez : Thanks 
Diwall : Attention
Amann : butter (you understand the kouign amann suddenly…)
Breizh : Brittany, of course!

💡Did you know?
Brittany has two specific languages: Breton and Gallo. Breton, a language of Celtic origin, is spoken in "Western Brittany" while Gallo, a language of Latin origin is spoken in "Eastern Brittany" also called Upper Brittany. Dinan-Cap Fréhel is in the heart of Gallo country.

©scaled
battle of saint cast

5. 💃 Fest-noz: We never lose the rhythm in Brittany! 

“They have round hats, long live Brittany, they have round hats, long live the Bretons!” 

Listen in Brittany! Binious and bombardes are regularly active during fest-noz. These festivals are not only a Breton tradition which enjoys worldwide recognition, but they are also classified as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity (just that)! 

But then, how does it work? Grab your neighbor's finger and get started! Fest-noz are festive gatherings, which combine traditional dances, Breton songs, music and above all a good dose of good humor! 

So put on the lace, headdresses and round hats, Breton folklore will make you dance like never before!

©mg
Hurdy-gurdy

(I.e.You are rather fond of sports gatherings Meet on the gouren mats (Breton wrestling) or on a Breton bowling green to bring folklore and beautiful sport together!

©The Storytellers
Breton flag above Fort Lalatte

So, how Breton are you? 🏁

Your score is: 

1-2 answers /5 : You still need revisions! 😛

Don't panic, you have to start somewhere! Breton folklore is very rich and complex and requires a little (a lot) of practice!

Want to learn more about the traditions made in Breizh?
Start by reviewing the basics with Dinan-Cap Fréhel!

 

3-4 answers /5 : You are (almost) an expert in Breton folklore 🙃

You don't need much to become an expert on Breton folklore. A few more escapades in the Côtes d'Armor and you will do flawlessly, I promise!

 Book your next vacation in Dinan-Cap Fréhel 
to become an unbeatable Breton tradition!

 

5 answers /5 : You are a real Breton! 🥳

Breton by birth or Breton by heart, it doesn't matter, you are unbeatable in Breton folklore! 

Do you know so much that you no longer know what to choose for your next getaway? Take a look at our experiences to live in Dinan Cap-Fréhel

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