During the night of December 11th, 1602, Geneva was under attack. The Duke of Savoy had sent his troops against the city walls. The battle was tough but Genevans eventually triumphed over their enemies.
400 years later, the city inhabitants still celebrate this victory. Every year in December, for three days, the streets of the historical part of town come alive. You will be able to witness processions of people wearing traditional costumes, games and concerts. The Festival is eagerly anticipated by children who dress up for the occasion and parade the streets from door to door while singing the traditional song Cé qu'è lainô, which tells the story of that special day.
On the last day of the Festival, tradition asks that every family smash a cauldron made of chocolate, wrapped in the Geneva coat of arms, this in order to pay tribute to Catherine Cheynel, known as “Mère Royaume”, who poured boiling hot water on soldiers climbing up the city walls. A true symbol of courage.
La fête de l'Escalade
9 to 11 December 2016