A Pardon is a typically Breton form of pilgrimage and one of the most traditional demonstrations of popular Catholicism in Brittany. Of very ancient origin, probably dating back to the conversion of the country by the Celtic monks, it is comparable to the parades associated with Saint Patrick's Day in Ireland or New York.
A Pardon is a penitential ceremony. A Pardon occurs on the feast of the patron saint of a church or chapel, at which an indulgence is granted. Hence use of the word "Pardon". Pardons only occur in the traditionally Breton language speaking Western part of Brittany. They do not extend farther east than Guingamp.
The faithful go on a pilgrimage either to the tomb of a saint or a place dedicated to a saint. The locations may be associated with miraculous appearances, as in Querrien, or holy relics.
The Pardons begin in March and end in October, but the majority of them are between Easter and Michaelmas. Traditionally pilgrims wore their best costumes, each diocese and parish having a distinctive style, and otherwise only worn at weddings. However, traditional Breton costume is now not typically worn, except at the Locronan Pardon, in honour of Saint Ronan. Penitents travel as a group in parishes, fraternities or other corporate bodies, bringing banners, crosses and other insignia in procession, each group competing with the others for grandeur. The leader of the Pardon, typically a high ranking ecclesiastic, has the title of "pardonnor". If relics are involved, he will normally carry them during part of the procession. For most of the pilgrimage, however, this honour falls to those who were considered to be worthiest of it by the various social groups represented.
The greater part of the day is spent in prayer, and the Pardon begins with an early Mass at 4 AM. Its observance, however, has actually commenced earlier, for the preceding evening is devoted to confession, and the rosary is generally recited by the pilgrims the whole way to the place of the Pardon. After the religious service, a great procession takes place around the church. This is the most picturesque part of the Pardon and may be regarded as its ''mise en scène''. At Ste-Anne d'Auray, this procession is especially striking. In the procession join all those who believe that the intercession of St. Anne has saved them in times of peril. Sailors will carry fragments of a vessel, upon which they escaped in a shipwreck; the once lame will carry on their shoulders crutches which they no longer need; and those rescued from fire will carry the rope or ladder by which they escaped from the flames.
The religious observances are usually followed by social events including picnics and, traditionally, wrestling matches.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』