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Jeûne genevois

The jeûne genevois is a public holiday specific to Geneva. It falls on the Thursday after the first Sunday in September. On this special day, the people of Geneva traditionally eat prune tart.

tarte aux pruneaux

The practice of fasting could be observed in the Swiss cantons as far back as the 15th century. The Diet, an assembly of the representatives of the cantons in place until 1848, organised penance and thanksgiving days. Each canton could decide what form these fasts would take.

Origin of the Jeûne genevois

The origin of the Jeûne genevois dates back to the first fast recorded in Geneva, at the beginning of October 1567 following the repression of Protestants from Lyon. From 1640, fasting was seen as a moral and religious act and became an annual practice at the initiative of reformed cantons. It was seen as an act of humility and solidarity with the poorest members of society.

A traditional prune tart

In Geneva, prune tarts are traditionally prepared on this special day. They were initially the only meal of the day and could be prepared the previous day. 

For more information and bibliographical references concerning the prune tarts of the Jeûne genevois, consult the page “Why do we eat prune tarts on the day of the Jeûne genevois” of the InterroGE service.

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Article modifié le 12.02.2020 à 10:50