Fribourg : accommodation
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In February, Fribourg’s carnival is focused on the ritual mass torching of the Grand Rababou effigy, bearer of the winter and of all evil. However, the event to watch out for is Bénichon (Kilbi in German), a kind of harvest feast held in the first half of September similar to the Emmental’s Sichlete. In former years, this would take the form of huge communal meals – lamb stews and hams and meringues and all kinds of seasonal specialities, such as a special mild mustard spread on oven-hot bread; poires à botzi, a sweet pear compote not found anywhere else; and paper-thin beignets de Bénichon, pastry leaves sprinkled with icing sugar, served elsewhere in the country only at carnival time. These days, the celebrations have lost their communal, seasonal edge, and tend to be more public affairs, with food stalls and tastings in the street.
In the first week of October, there’s a fun run over the 17km between Murten/Morat and Fribourg, to commemorate the messenger who brought news of victory at the Battle of Murten in 1476 to Fribourg. St Nicholas Day, in the first week of December, sees an evening parade headed by a jolly old man with a long white beard, who rides in on a donkey distributing biscômes (spicy cake squares), to the children of the town amid much revelry.

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