Alpine Cattle Descent Charmey


The return of the cattle from the alpine pastures is celebrated in many locations, but rarely as exuberantly and boisterously as in Charmey in Canton Freiburg. The festive alpine procession always takes place on the last Saturday in September and is a colorful living tradition and authentic custom.

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When dahlias, chrysanthemums, alpine roses and fir twigs tower in colorful bunches on the heads of cows, it means that the summer is over. At least the alpine summer. It’s a big day for the inhabitants of the alp, high up in the mountains. After four months away from home, they prepare early in the morning for the triumphant entry into the village.

At sunrise, they bring their cows, cattle, sheep and goats back to the alpine barns and prepare them for the procession. Subsequently the procession begins to move. Proudly, the alpine famers show off their traditional costumes and parade their livestock past the onlookers. The parade of the alpine home-comers is heard from afar. In the land of Gruyère AOP cheese, the homecoming group is cheered like heroes: on the village square yodelers, alphorn blowers and flag wavers show off their abilities to honor the homecoming group.

The Cattle Descent attracts more visitors every year, who stroll through the large market with its regional specialties and arts and crafts products.

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