Every country has its myths and legends that date back centuries and Francophone countries are no exception. Folklore tales, myths and legends have been passed down from generation and some have scared children ever since. The Gauls, Normans, Bretons, Franks, etc. all have their own ghouls and goblins that are part of their history. Some of these tales are tragic, others have important lessons and some are just frightening! Here are 10 of the most famous and interesting francophone myths and legends you will be interested to learn.
Mélusine is a very known figure in Francophone folklore. Mélusine is a woman but her bottom half is a serpent or fish like a mermaid. There are two main tales about this serpent woman: she is either the daughter of the King Elinas of Albany who must run away with her mother when her father sees them bathe or she is a woman that marries a nobleman and tells him never to look at them when she takes a bath. One day he does look at her so she leaves him because he sees her bottom half. The most famous story came from a collection of various “spinning yarns”, i.e. stories told by ladies while they are at their spinning coudrettes. Mélusine is often depicted in paintings and stories.
Dragons are not only part of the Chinese culture, they are also a deep part of the Medieval folklore history of France. It was between the 11th and 13th century that Europeans were interested in these mythical creatures. They are often depicted in art and stories. The most famous French dragon has to be Gargouille, which we will talk about a little later on.
These supernatural beings or female spirits that is often compared to the Dutch and German White Women. These women are either fairies, witches or washerwomen of the night or ghosts. These women are wearing all white and sometimes attack the people who pass through the woods they haunt. They are announcers of death, especially the death of noble men and women. The Prince Louis-Ferdinand de Prusse saw a Dame Blanche twice before his tragic death on the battlefield in Saalfeld. Dames Blanches are one of the most famous francophone myths and legends.