La Quintaine

Quintaine, La

Second Sunday in November
St. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, is honored each year in the French town of St.-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.
CONTACTS:
Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat Tourism Office
Place du Champs de Mars
Sainte Leonard-de-Noblat, 87400 France
33-5-5556-2506; fax: 33-5-5556-3697
www.tourisme.fr/recherche/e_index.htm
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Nov 8