Sunday, August 23, 2015

EUROPA81 - Bailiwick of Guernsey - Folklore 22.5.1981

12pence stamp is about Sailors paying respect to 'Le Petit Bonhomme Andriou' (rock resembling head of a man)

Jerbourg Point or the Jerbourg Peninsula is the southeastern point of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, lying within St Martin Parish. It marks the end of the east coast cliffs and beginning of the south coast cliffs. It provides scenic views of the Little Russel and many other islands.

A folk legend that is narrated in Le Petit Bon Homme Andriou in Guersney is about the Archdruid, the last person to convert to Christianity. Druid was not willing to convert to Christianity when all his fellow people had already done so. He, therefore, decided to retire to a secluded cave in the cliff of Jerbourg Point. From this point, as was his regular habit to watch the sea during severe storm, he saw a ship at a distance approaching, heaving heavily towards the rocks of the peninsula to its utter doom. Druid, frightened by this scene, offered prayers to his pagan gods to save the ship and its passengers. As the gale did not abate and the crash became imminent, he prayed to the Christian God with a vow that if the ship was saved he would convert to Christianity and would build a chapel for the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. As providence would have it, the storm abated and the disaster of ship wrecking against the Jerbourg Peninsula was averted.

The 18pence stamp depicts Fairies and the Legend of the Guernsey Lily
One day, the king of the fairies arrived at Vazon in Guernsey in his boat and, after he had landed, he found that he was very tired and so he lay down under a hedge and went to sleep. A beautiful young girl called Michele passed by and saw him fast asleep. Whilst she watched him, he opened his eyes and at the moment that he saw her he fell deeply in love with her. He persuaded her to go with him to his kingdom of the fairies to be his queen, but she asked him if she could leave something for her parents. She knew that they would miss her and she didn’t want to be forgotten. The little man gave her a bulb, and she planted it in the sand at the edge of the beach. Then they went off together in the boat to the fairy kingdom. Michele never came back to Guernsey.

Later her mother, completely beside herself, was searching for her daughter along the beach when she saw a beautiful flower growing in the sand. It was so lovely, scarlet with fairy gold which powdered its petals. At that moment, she knew that she would not find her daughter and that the magnificent flower had taken her place.

Thank you Merja for this wonderful FDC.

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