Legend has it that on the night of December 11, 1602, a certain Mère Royaume was concocting a soup when the soldiers of the Duke of Savoy made the mistake of venturing outside her window. She hurled a cauldron of boiling soup over the enemy soldiers as they attempted to scale the city walls, killing Savoyan enemies and helping to keep Geneva free.
Today’s heroic citizens of Geneva commemorate her feat in chocolate. The custom is for the oldest and youngest of the family to join hands and smash the chocolate pot, or cauldron, open with the words “Thus perish the enemies of the Republic!”.
The Escalade is celebrated on the weekend that falls closest to the night and early morning of December 11-12.