Traditional Alpine Descent — Le Boéchet, JU

© anne kohler
Saturday, 07 October

Hundreds of thousands of Swiss cows, sheep, goats, and other animals spend their summer in the Swiss Alps to graze on the rich and tasty grasses and wildflowers of the alpine pastures. The special tasting milk that is produced is then processed into aromatic cheeses and other dairy products. With the beginning of fall and the colder weather, the animals descend from the mountains to their winter quarters. In many communities, this alpine descent is still celebrated with very traditional and picturesque festivals.
At this “Désalpe,” as it is referred to in the French-speaking regions of Switzerland, about a dozen groups and wagons are involved in the only event of its kind in canton Jura, near Saignelégier. There will be a market, cheese-making demonstrations, food, drink, and musical entertainment from 9:00. The animals will be decorated and prepared for their procession from 12:00 at Combe-à-la-Biche and will arrive at Le Boéchet around 14:30. There will be crafts demonstrations, cheese making, an agricultural zoo, local wine tasting, and much more. Entertainment, music and dancing will continue until late in the night.
Be sure to confirm the dates before you head out as sometimes festivals or at least the descent of the animals may have to be cancelled or changed on the basis of weather or the availability of feedstock.
This event is free of charge; consider public transport as parking is limited.


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