27th September: Combat des Reines (Cow-fighting)
Each year, the Chamonix valley hosts a traditional cow-fighting combat, inspired by the fights which these herds of cattle engage in naturally to establish their hierarchies. The Herens breed of cows will scuffle head to head until one is repelled and forced to give up by her opponent, to be crowned the “Reine” (Queen), adorned with giant cow bells and a crown of flowers before being paraded with her proud owner before the crowds.
The Combat des Reines is a major event for the local farming community, bringing crowds of locals and visitors together to see a display which is traditional from this region and neighbouring Switzerland.
Cow-fighting is very different to bull-fighting, no enraged bulls or provocative matadors here. The cows’ horns are all checked before combat to ensure that they cannot inflict injury on another animal, injuries are rare and there is no bloodshed.
Location: Bois du Bouchet
More information: Chamonix Tourist Office
Tel: +33 (0) 4 50 53 11 13