The Coumba Freida Historic Carnival
- 23 February 2020 - 25 February 2020
10.00 am – Exit of the Benda in La Ville according to the ancient tradition. Visit to the mayor and the hamlets of Allérod, Chez Norat, Frein, Clavel and Plan Clavel.
11.00 am – Exit of the Benda and visit to the hamlets Condemine, L’Allamanaz, Chaéroulaz and Ayez.
9.30 pm – Masked dance evening with the orchestra I ragazzi del villaggio at the pavilion in Champlan – entrance € 5.
24.00 – Most original and most beautiful “patoille” award ceremony.
11.00 am – Exit of the masks in Dayllon and visit to the hamlet of Chanté and grand final in La Ville.
According to tradition, this carnival event was established in commemoration of the march through the Great St. Bernard Pass by Napoleon and his troops in May 1800, during his campaign in Italy. The carnival costumes then are traditionally an allegorical transformation of the uniforms originally worn by the French soldiers. A bear is also represented and symbolises the arrival of Spring; mule tails represent the winds and are used to banish baleful breezes; the mirrors on the costumes ward off evil spirits and the bright red colour, which symbolises vigour and strength, also has the power to dispel dark spirits, ill omens and misfortune. During the parade, the carnival characters enter the homes of local families; they dance along the streets and in the squares and eat and drink whatever they are given.