Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey
Inscribed in 2016 (11.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
In Vevey, Switzerland there is a tradition that recognizes the community’s winegrowers involving not only those in the industry but also members of the public and local artists. Originally a single pageant, The Winegrowers’ Festival now features 15 events over three weeks and 5,000 contributors. Every festival is based on the recreation of a traditional theme, such as working the earth and vines, seasonal cycle and brotherhood. Pageants are held throughout the festival, as well as prizes awarded to the best winegrowers, music performances and songs sung such as the Ranz des Vaches (Alpine cow-herder’s song) and processions to the neighbouring town of La Tour-de-Peilz. Costumed extras can also be seen, as well as grotesques (wooden figurines on sticks). Taking place five times every hundred years, The Winegrowers’ Festival involves mainly volunteers who spend several years preparing for it. Transmission occurs within families and by the not-for-profit association the Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, which coordinates the festival and whose members include winegrowers and the general public. The tradition encourages community spirit, helps to maintain the area’s artistic life and provides a sense of cultural continuity while facilitating the know-how of master winegrowers. The next festival will be in 2019.