Traditional Alpine Descent — Lignières, NE

Saturday, 23 September

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.
This “Désalpe,” as it is called in the French-speaking regions, will start at 10:00 with the opening of the craft market that will host over 40 exhibitors. For the parade, the animals are shorn, brushed, adorned with large bells, and wear a magnificent headdress made of a fir tree artistically decorated with flowers. Watch the herd passing by in a cheerful atmosphere, enjoy the ringing of the cow bells, flag throwers, whip crackers, and enjoy the musical entertainment as you mingle with the people to celebrate with them. The village is also beautifully decorated and adorned with flowers for this occasion. The theme this year is around the squash (“Courges en folie”). The evening will be crowned with fireworks at 21:00, weather permitting.
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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