This historical and traditional festival animates the whole old town for a weekend. Costumes, parades, music, workshops..
It is the most popular historical festival in Geneva. The Fête de l'Escalade commemorates the victory of the Genevans over their Savoyard assailants on 12 December 1602. Anchored in the heart of Genevans, it symbolizes victory and above al is synonymous with Geneva's independence. For several days there are historical parades of people wearing 17th century costumes, there are games, mulled wine stands and concerts which entertain the city and the historical city. The procession of costumed children parade through the town from bistro to bistro while singing the patois song "Ce qu' uè l' ainô". It tells the story of this episode. The 1602 company parades in costumes and on horseback. More than 800 costumed participants and 45 knights proudly stroll from the Parc des Bastions to the square in front of Saint-Pierre Cathedral where there is a beautiful bonfire. On this occasion, visitors will be able to pass through secret passages in the Roman fortifications, which are exceptionally open to the public. Three days of festivities and tradition, such as offering a glass of mulled wine at the end of the passage or a bowl of steaming soup from Mère Royaume, the one that knocked out a Savoyard with her pot at the time of the ancient Arsenal. On the evening of the 12th of December, it is a tradition that each family has a chocolate pot with Geneva arms and filled it with marzipan vegetables, while the eldest and youngest member of the family then break it while singing the first stanza of "Ce q' uè l' ainô". A beautiful tradition which continues and which is enriched every year.
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