ORIGIN OF BÉNICHON
The Fête de la Bénichon—synonymous today with a hearty meal, dancing and a carnival—actually has religious origins. From the Latin word benedicto, this Patron Saint Festival is followed by secular celebrations. The first written mention of this festival dates back to 1443! During the 20th century, the festival evolved and is now celebrated at the end of the harvesting season. Historically, village festivals have been organized by young people and other local groups.
THE BÉNICHON DU PAYS DE FRIBOURG
In 2013, the Council of State and the Nouvelle Politique Régionale (NPR) provided the impetus for launching the first Bénichon du Pays de Fribourg. This large-scale event aims to complement and not compete with the Bénichons which are locally organized. The extensive publicity surrounding this event helps to promote the interest of the media and local communities for this festival, which benefits both the local festivals and artisans, whose festival-related sales have considerably increased over the past five years.
SO, WHAT’S GOING ON AT BÉNICHON?
Bénichon is an opportunity for families to gather around a table teeming with food. Traditional products such as cuchaule (brioche-like saffron bread), smoked ham, poached pears, or meringues top this wide-ranging menu! On some farms, you can still ride the Bénichon swing, a long plank attached to a barn which thrills and amuses both young and old !
At village festivals, friends partake of the menu in large dining halls and then burn off the calories on the dance floor! The festivals are often supplemented with related activities, an open-air market, carousels, plays or parades which take place over the whole weekend!
After a period of dwindling interest, Bénichon is back stronger than ever and is immensely popular all over the canton.
join the Gordon Bennett 2017 team by signing up to volunteer:
Cuchaule and Bénichon sweet-spicy mustard
Seisler Voräss* (local goulash)
Lamb stew, side dishes
Smoked ham and a variety of smoked meats, cabbage, carrots and potatoes
Leg of lamb with grapes, Poire à Botzi AOP (caramelized poached pears), mashed potatoes and green bean bundles
Gruyère AOP, Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and other cheese specialties
Meringues and double cream
Coffee accompanied by bricelets (thin waffles), pains d’anis (rolls speckled with aniseed), cuquettes (puff pastries), beignets and croquets (light finger biscuits) of Bénichon.
Over time, the Bénichon menu has evolved. It varies depending on the region and the preferences of the guests.
*only available in the German-speaking Sense District.