Traditional Alpine Descent — Semsales, FR
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 with a breakfast offered as a sign of welcome from 7:00–9:00. A market with craft demonstrations will open at 8:00. From 10:00–16:00, the herds decorated with their bells and bright flowers (more than 700 animals) will arrive in the village. Food, drink, and entertainment will be available from 11:00. Bar service and entertainment until run 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.