The Saas Valley has a long and turbulent history. The Celts, Romans and Saracens all settled here at one point, braving life in this harsh Alpine environment. Religion helped people to cope with these difficult living conditions, and many customs and traditions from our past have remained to this day.
Taking place on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, the Corpus Christi processions in the villages of the Saas Valley are among the most beautiful in the Valais. After High Mass, the processions set out from the various parish churches, moving through the village and the surrounding hamlets before returning to the church square and ending with a vist to the cemetery.
Following High Mass in the parish church, the processionwill set out from the church and move through the village.
The centrepiece of the procession represents Heaven and is carried by four councillors. The priest walks beneath it, holding up the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament, followed by communicants in white robes, young girls with garlands, flag-bearers, musical societies, the choir, women in traditional dress, rosary flag bearers, local youth groups, soldiers and worshippers.
The procession stops four times at Corpus Christi altars, which are specially decked out for the occasion. Here, the priest will give a blessing with the gleaming gold monstrance. This tradition goes back to the Middle Ages. On this day the whole village, including the hotels, restaurants, barns, streets and alleyways, is decked out with flags.
4th of June, 2015