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Tag Archives: Whipping
Two cafés just two minutes apart on the rue Pierre-Lescot in the Les Halles district. Le Père Fouettard (Father Whips-a-Lot) is the demon who comes in place of Père Noël (Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus) to punish little girls and boys who have been naughty all year. He’s the French equivalent of the Alpine folk figure Krampus. If that scares you off, you can always have your coffee up the street at Au Père Tranquille (The Calm Father)
Beating the Bounds: an ancient ritual still practiced today in the British Isles. Communities traditionally reinscribed the boundaries of their parishes by walking the edges carrying sticks, pounding on the boundary marking stones. In an era before maps were common, when literacy was rare, these annual events (also called “gangdays”) were intended to impress upon everyone where community boundaries lay. Since resources were allocated according to parish, it was vital that the knowledge was passed down accurately though successive generations. It also helped keep the neighbors in line. To reinforce the lesson, the gangs would (and d0) stop occasionally to literally beat the knowledge into the boys. Sometimes, the youngsters would also be flung against the rocky stiles. All in good fun! Part of a suite of jolly old British customs that includes flogging the peg boys.