Fete de L’Escalade

It’s been a busy, fun holiday season and wow has it flown by!  We started off December with the biggest Genevois celebration, the Escalade.  We missed out on this event last year since we were visiting  the U.S., so we were excited to see what it was all about.


Basically the gist is that every year the Genevois celebrate a failed siege on their city by the Savoie in 1602.  Legend has it they were alerted in the night of the attack and a woman helped launch the counter-attack by pouring her hot cauldron of soup on the invaders.  The celebration includes a 5k run the weekend before the actual event.  For the event itself, there are lots of festivities around the old town where people dress up in period costumes, sell hot wine, beer, and food, ride around on horseback, fire cannons and muskets, and basically take a step back in time.  There is also a parade and the kids all dress up for the parade and for Escalade parties at school.  Think the Geneva version of Halloween.

It was pretty interesting to see and did feel a bit like we had stepped back in time.


Jonah loved the dress up party at school and the kids even got to help make vegetable soup to be sold to all the students and families.  Unfortunately Mason was sick for his dress up day, but luckily he’s still little so didn’t know what he was missing!  He was well enough to go downtown with us and was thrilled to see horses and ponies trotting through the streets!


I think the best part of this tradition is the breaking of the marmite, a soup cauldron made out of chocolate.  It’s usually filled with even more sweets, so a sure-fire favorite for the kids!



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