At the end of September, Désalpe is a traditional festival celebrated in the Swiss alpine pastures. Known for its cheese, the Pays-d’Enhaut village of Etivaz honours this tradition every year with an entertaining day showcasing local products.
After spending the whole summer in the Swiss mountain pastures, the cows make their way back down to the plain for the winter and this movement is celebrated by a traditional festival called the Désalpe.
For this festival day, the cows are adorned with their most beautiful bells and are guided by the armaillis – the local term for an alpine herdsman – into the village where they receive a warm welcome. Locals and visitors then celebrate everything the local area has to offer with tastings and typical Swiss entertainment such as alphorn concerts or flag throwing.
In the Vaudois Alps, the village of Etivaz is known for its eponymous cheese. Made locally in the pastures, L’Etivaz AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) is aged in the village’s cellars before being enjoyed on tables throughout Switzerland.
Passage of the herds in the village of l'Étivaz :
10h Tille family - 100 cows
10h30 Rosat family - 55 cows
11am Grangier family - 40 heifers
11:30 am Rossier family - 40 cows
13h30 Famille Favre - 45 cows
2:30 PM Henchoz family - 25 cows
(The times of passage in the village of Etivaz are approximate)