our two Carnival legends

The legend of the Devil and Saint Martin

The legend deal is of a pilgrim called Martin who was travelling to Rome when he stopped in a small village in Valle d'Aosta to spend the night. This village was situated near a small river called Lys. During the night the power of the river destroyed the small woody bridge over the river. The pilgrim had to stay there for some days before the new bridge was ready. The influential people of the village met to discuss the situation. They wanted a new, big, beautiful and solid bridge but did not have enough money to pay for such bridge.

Pilgrim Martin decided to help these nice, friendly people. He decided to ask the Devil to build the bridge for them. The Devil accepted but, in return, asked for the first being who crossed the bridge. The smart man accepted but was already thinking about how to mock the demon. When the bridge was finished all the inhabitants could see Devil's handiwork but they could not cross it, so the pilgrim thre a piece of bread onto the bridge; just then an old hungry dog came and crossed the bridge. It was the first being to cross the bridge. The angry devil tried to destroy his work but Pilgrim Martin put a holy cross on the top of the bridge and the Devil was forced tgo leave.  People started to call the pilgrim Saint Martin and they all decided to call the village Pont-Saint-Martin to thank the man who had helped them.

The bridge is still there, and it is big, beautiful and solid.

The Lysnymph
or the Colombera fairy

Summary adapted to the facts about the Pont-Saint-Martin Carnival, recalling historical facts and legends from the Ancient Roman period.

Réchanter is a small village near Pont-Saint-Martin built on a sheer mountain. Close to the village flows a little stream that runs into the Lys water. The Legend is of a young and beautiful fairy who lived in the surrounding forest, but one day people living in Réchanter started to be unfriendly towards her so she started to feel unhappy. The golden haired nymph decided to leave the village. She made it rain very heavily until the little stream swelled; she then rode a big wave down the stream. When she arrived at Pont-Saint-Martin some people noticed the big waves and the fairy sitting on top. Immediately someone asked the graceful nymph not to destroy the Roman bridge.
She felt sympathetic towards these people and she left without destroying the bridge, disappearing towards the river Dora singing sweet songs while the people of Pont-Saint-Martin people were thanking the nymph for the nice gesture.

Text adaptation from
Légendes et Récits recueillis sur le bord du Lys,
Aoste - Imprimerie DUC 1901
For English language