Traditions and Festivals

A little bit about the thriving Breton traditions of the Fest Noz, the Pardons and the Tro Briezh...

Fest Noz

The Festoù Noz was traditionally the feast which took place after a communal chore in Breton villages and towns as a means of relaxation after a hard day’s work. Nowadays it has become a wonderful excuse to listen to traditional music, eat, dance and make merry!

The Fest Noz dance, with its infectious music played on violins, flutes, guitars and drums, is for everybody to join in, with simple steps and hands linked. They are held all through the summer months particularly in all villages and towns. The music has recently undergone a huge revival.

  • Tamm-Kriez lists upcoming Fest Noz and Fest-Diez in Brittany
  • Facebook page Fest Noz also details local events


The Pardon is a religious procession which takes place after a Mass, rich in rituals and traditions, dedicated to the local Saints in each village and town. The faithful attend to seek forgiveness or to fulfil a vow. These Pardons are also celebrated in a more specialised way, for example for sailors about to set sail who are given blessings. The processions are colourful and musical with statues, crosses and banners and are held all over Brittany, particularly in the summer months.

The Tro Breizh

This is a tour of Brittany, or a pélerinage, passing through seven towns where Christianity was founded by the Saints: St Brieuc, St Malo, Dol-de-Bretagne, Vannes, Quimper, St Pol-de-Léon and Tréguier. Tradition has it that the walk was done in order to guarantee entry into Heaven, and for those who ended up in Hell, it was their punishment every seven years. Dating back to the IX century when it was very popular, it has been given new life since 1994 by two associations.

  • La Route Historique du Tro Breizh
    Tel: 02 96 33 10 22
  • Les Chemins du Tro Breizh (in French)
    At: BP 118, 29250 St Pol-de-Léon.
    Tel: 02 98 69 16 53