Geneva the Old Town festivities called L’Escalade



or Fête de l’Escalade (from escalade, the act of scaling defensive walls), is an annual festival in Geneva, Switzerland, held each December in celebration of the defeat of an attempt to conquer the Protestant city by the Catholic Duchy of Savoy. Troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, attempted a surprise attack during the night of 11–12 December 1602, but according to legend, were repulsed by a cook who dumped boiling vegetable soup on the invaders before raising an alarm. The celebrations and other commemorative activities are usually held on 12 December or the closest weekend.

What is the chocolate tradition for the Fête de l’Escalade? Each year, the citizens of Geneva take part in the tradition of smashing a chocolate marmite (cauldron) decorated with the city’s colors — red and yellow, and its coat of arms. The cauldron is typically smashed on December 12, and there is a specific ritual that accompanies this process. Within a family household, for example, the youngest and the oldest join hands and recite the phrase, “Ainsi périrent (or périssent) les ennemis de la République,” — which translates to something like, “Thus perished (or perishes) the enemies of the Republic!” Then, they smash the chocolate cauldron with their clasped fists.

Here we did in Villa Ecureuil as a nice tradition. Well done girls and amazing Swiss chocolate 😉

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