Carnival in Geneva

Smashing sweet marzipan-filled marmites en chocolat (chocolate cauldrons) and gorging on the broken pieces makes Geneva's biggest festival (second weekend of December) loads of fun. Torch-lit processions enliven the Vieille Ville and a bonfire is lit in the cathedral square to celebrate the defeat of Savoy troops in 1602.

A tall tale says the assault was repelled by a housewife who tipped a pot of boiling soup over a trooper's head, whacked him with her cauldron, then raised the alarm.