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Lonas

The village name is pronounced Lona - rhymes with Mona . This pronunciation is in accordance with the natural evolution of the language over the centuries from the latin. But modern written form, despite some confusion - Lompnas on maps and in the telephone directory, and Lompnaz on road signs - has kept a spelling closer to the latin roots. In 1911, the government refused a request from the local council who wished a to be substituted officially for the final S to distinguish our village of Lompnas from the village of (Hauteville) Lompnes some 30 km away.


The Fête of Saint-Vincent

Traditionally the three big festivals of the village were Saint-Vincent on 22 January, the fair of March 16 and the "vogue" for Saint-Jacques in July. Only Saint-Vincent has survived, despite the disappearance of the vineyards from the village (Winemaking continues further down the mountain, 5 km away and some 200 metres lower in altitude). The fete of St Vincent continues to unite the people of the village and their parents and friends from neighbouring villages who come to eat the pancakes offerd to all. In 1958, M. Jacques Paul Dubreuil described it in this way: "Each family hosts St Vincent in turn . The Host, designated the year before, carries a pyramid of brioche bread upon his head, the sacred bread; a close family member carries a bouquet, decorated with grapes; two others wield a barrel of wine. The procession arrives at the church, followed by the bass and side drums. The priest delivers a fitting sermon and, after the Gospel, blesses the bread and the wine. Upon rising, a drumroll shakes the vaults. The procession leaves the church, and arrives at the home of he who is designated host for the following year. The whole village is already there, for next year's host is happy to offer pancakes to all. after which we go to the home of the host who will offer pancakes the following year, and the bread in two years time".



The "Mais"

The tradition of May Trees continues. In the year they become twenty, on the morning of the 1st May, the young ladies discover, planted at their home, a giant (50 feet or more) pine tree stripped of bark and branches save for the top few feet and decorated with flowers. It has been put up during the night as "discreetly" as possible. The young ladies express their delight, "surprise" and gratitude and offer a suitable celebratory drink to all.


The saints of Chanaux

The older inhabitants who still speak the local patois, tell of the ancient dispute between the people of Lompnaz and their neighbours in Innimont over the ownership of the high fields known as The Chanaux. To resolve the dispute it was decided to refer the matter to the arbitration of the patron saints who were carried up to the fields. " Who owns the Chanaux ? " it was asked of the statue of saint Laurent. There was no reply. They turned to saint Jacques. In the meantime, a small man had hidden under the stretcher carrying the patron saint of Lompnaz. " - Who owns the Chanaux ? - Lompnaz ", the wooden statue replied firmly, and in this way the quarrel was ended. And the old storytellers, with a smile, let their audience decide who is the most honest and who is the craftiest.

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