Patron Saint's Festival of St. John
- 23 June 2016 - 24 June 2016
- At 9.00 p.m.: traditional Saint-John’s Fire in the different hamlets.
- At 10.30 a.m.: Holy Mass
- After the Mass and the traditional Lamb Offering a pageant with local costumes will take place in the village streets.
- Gressoney’s priest issues Saint John’s blessing to all children.
- A dancing performance of Gressoney’s folkloristic group “Trachtengruppe” will take place on the village square.
- The festival continues with lunch and dances in the pavilion on Weissmatten’s car park.
The festivities start on 23rd June after dusk with the lighting of the fires of Sankt Johanz. Every district in the town, one after the other, lights its own enormous bonfire, left to burn out completely. The inhabitants in the various villages then celebrate with a toast and “spisie” (typical snacks) awaiting the following day, the day of the Patron Saint. The Saint’s Day begins with a Mass, followed by a solemn procession in which many women wear traditional Walser costumes and the young folk carry a standard bearing a representation of the decapitated head of the saint. Those who turn 18 that year carry the statue, while a man of robust build carries the “great cross”. A special blessing, still very important to the locals, is then imparted to the children.