First Fruits of the Alps Sunday

First Fruits of the Alps Sunday

Fourth Sunday in August
The Alpine dairymen of Vissoie, Valais Canton, Switzerland, show their appreciation to the parish priest by presenting him with cheeses known as les prÉmices des Alpes, or the "first fruits of the Alps," on the fourth Sunday in August every year. Because they live in huts and graze their herds in the mountains all summer, the dairymen rely on the priest's visits so they can attend mass and receive the Holy Sacraments. In return, they give him all the milk their herds yield on the third day after their arrival in the mountains by making it into cheeses.
At the end of August, the justice of the peace of Val D'Anniviers counts, inspects, and weighs the cheeses brought back to Vissoie with the returning herds. After High Mass, the dairymen of the district march in procession to the altar, each carrying his own cheese, and stand before the town's red-and-black-robed magistrates. After giving the first fruits of the Alps to the priest, the dairymen once more form a procession and march to the parsonage, where a feast is held in the courtyard.
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 105
FestWestEur-1958, p. 236