Burgundians - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs and Practices. Although most Burgundians are nominal Catholics, church attendance, especially in rural areas, is limited to women, children, and the elderly. Most rural men await the end of mass at the café, and even at a funeral they stand hatless outside the church and pass by the bier only just before the coffin is carried out of the sanctuary and to the cemetery. Participation in weddings and christenings is more representative. Burgundy, like many rural areas, harbors little-discussed non-Christian beliefs relating to features of the landscape and the seasons. Burgundy has for centuries been attractive to a variety of religious orders; the important monastery of Cluny was founded in A.D. 910. More recently, the main Buddhist temple in the West and the European home of the Dalai Lama has been built in southern Burgundy.

Arts. Rural artisans continue to manufacture sabots (wooden shoes), vielles (musical instruments like the hurdy-gurdy), and other crafts both for the tourist trade and their own use. Continuing interest by young and old alike (since at least the nineteenth century) in folklore societies has kept many Burgundian traditions vibrant and has contributed greatly to community and regional pride.

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