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  5. Celebrating fifty years since the return of the mountain pastures: A festive tribute to autumn traditions

Celebrating fifty years since the return of the mountain pastures: A festive tribute to autumn traditions

Back from the mountain pastures

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Celebrating fifty years since the return of the mountain pastures: A festive tribute to autumn traditions

Mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in an authentic and unforgettable experience! Saturday 14 October 2023 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Retour des Alpages, a traditional folk festival that brings crowds together to celebrate the descent of the herds from the mountain pastures into the valley. 

Since the Middle Ages, the Retour des Alpages has symbolised the start of autumn and the return of the mountain herds to their winter habitats. This year, the event takes on a particularly special significance, marking half a century of celebrating these ancestral traditions. The streets of Annecy prepare to welcome enthusiastic crowds for a day packed with crafts, demonstrations of ancient trades, parades and festivities in honour of this unique occasion.

Immerse yourself in the crafts of yesteryear and age-old traditions

From 9 o'clock in the morning, the town comes alive with a host of craft workshops showcasing ancient methods of making and working. Talented local craftspeople showcase their skills and recreate scenes from everyday life in days gone by. Old trades, once essential to the survival of mountain communities, are brought back to life before the amazed eyes of visitors. 

The dazzling parade and the essence of autumn

At 2.30pm comes the moment we've all been waiting for: the parade of mountain herds. Cows in a variety of gowns and tinkling bells march past, accompanied by farmers from the mountain pastures. 

A festival for gourmets and fans of folklore

The day continues with a tasting of local Savoyard products. Aromatic cheeses, fine charcuterie and sweet delicacies are on display, inviting visitors to sample the authentic flavours of the region. Local folk groups celebrate the melodies and dances handed down from generation to generation.

A celebration of community and autumn

Beyond its festive nature, the Retour des Alpages is an event that brings together local residents and visitors from elsewhere. It's a time for local people to come together to celebrate their heritage, reconnect with their roots and honour the traditions that have shaped their identity. It's also a chance for visitors to immerse themselves in a warm, authentic atmosphere, experience local culture up close and create lasting memories.

Come and celebrate fifty years of Retour des Alpages on Saturday 14 October 2023. 

Discover the day's programme: www.annecy-ville.fr

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