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Old 09.09.2013, 21:23
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Well dressing - Fete des Fontaines

Anybody from Derbyhire, Cheshire or Staffordshire here? Many Brits will be aware of the long tradition of Well Dressing in the Peak District- where wells are decorated with panels of religious scenes from the Bible to thank the clad water for saving thousands from the plague. Of course originally a celtic tradition of worshipping water - started up again later by Christians in the area.

Being a Jura (Neuchatel) born and bred girl living in the UK, and for some time in Staffs, I felt very comfortable visiting the limestone dales (gorges) and hills of the Peaks, and was fascinated to discover the Well Dressing tradition. This Thursday, 12 of September, 2 villages of the Neuchatel Jura will celebrate the 'Fete de Fontaines' - decorating and lighting up fountains in the 2 villages,, in a totally non-religious way though, and as such, much closer to the original celtic tradition of water worship. This was started again here to celebrate Neuchatel Canton getting rid of Prussian rule and joining the Swiss Confederation in 1814 (big celebs therefore next year). I shall be there for the first time since 1969

In both the villages of Motiers and Buttes, near Fleurier in the Val-de-Travers, otherwise known as absinthe country and famous for watch-making too (Parmigiani, Chopard, Cartier, Bovet, Sandoz, Fleurier and Piaget).
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