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Fete De L’Escalade is a festival in Geneva commemorating an attack on the city in 1600. A French militia in Saint Julien marched on Geneva in the middle of the night on the 11th of December. The townsfolk rang alarms and fought off the invaders, 2 people were killed by a woman who dropped a cauldron of boiling hot soup from the top of the bastion wall, burns killing one and the cauldron to the head killing the other. The invaders, cold and tired, after 2 hours went home and the city rejoiced. The festival commemorates this with a weekend long celebration. Friday and Saturday are events for the kids where they dress up and do a sort of trick or treating, going door to door singing songs and you give them spare change instead of candy. They also play games like egg fighting.

On Sunday, people dress up in their 1600s garb and walk through the streets re-enacting scenes from the battle and using ancient weaponry. They also hand out hot wine, vegetable soup, and giant cauldrons made of chocolate to celebrate the woman who killed 2 invaders. It was really cool. History looks back on this event as pivotal for the Reformation’s success in Europe. Geneva, home of John Calvin, was a stronghold for protestants. If they would have fallen, the entire face of Europe could have been changed with Catholicism reclaiming Protestant lands, which could have gone on to effect the freedom of religion in the New World. Really interesting stuff!

Videos from last weekend at the festival in Geneva.

http://youtu.be/ZAAM_z3L5HE – Marching Drummers

http://youtu.be/CrDgfObPkLM – Flute Players

http://youtu.be/V0kxEdWo4uw
– Horn players in the cathedral

http://youtu.be/XNdWIZPZbq0 – Muskets Firing

And pictures:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100354510769542.2535463.17107679&type=1&l=8f78894fce

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pictures

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2454085&id=17107679&l=a42a6638e3

here they be pictures of French castles. WOOT!

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