Geneva,  Switzerland

Escalade and Marmite pots

Geneva celebrates the Escalade each December to commemorate the defeat of the troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy in the night of 11/12 December 1602.

During that fateful night the Genevoise were alerted to the troops gathering just outside the city walls and fought alongside the town militia.

Legend has it that Mére Royaume, a mother of 14 children grabbed the cauldron of soup that she was making at the time and poured it out of the window, killing one of the attackers.

To celebrate Mére Royaume, the Genevoise now smash a chocolate pot, or Marmite, that is filled with marzipan vegetables, while reciting “Ainsi périssent les ennemis de la République! ” (Thus perish the enemies of the Republic).


  • Fleur

    I've been reading about this smashing for a while. How do I do it? I've thought of hitting the thing with a spatula or spoon — but since it looks really nice I don't really feel like doing it. Any options? XD


  • MmeLindt

    Traditionally, so I have heard, the eldest and youngest member of the family hold hands and smash the marmite. I can remember having to bash it a couple of times last year before it finally succumbed.

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