Carnival in Jura

Jura's carnival celebrations, also known asCarimentran, have a long and eventful history. From masked processions to grand balls, the merrymaking has varied from place to place and from age to age between high-spirited populism and social satire. It thus reflects the full range of regional history, having evolved in parallel with the canton's economic and political development. One example of its traditions is thesortie des sauvages(night of the wild men) in Le Noirmont, shortly before Shrove Tuesday, when young men covered in branches run through the village streets seizing young ladies and ducking them in the fountains. Another is the night-timeBaitchaiprocession featuring rhythmic drums and bells that were supposed to drive out spirits on the eve of Shrove Tuesday. The satirical side is best expressed in the carnival newspapers that excel in ridiculing the local elite, as well as the urban carnivals that were organised in the second half of the 19thcentury. The latter were more highly politicised and centred on a "king for a day", who was a symbol of affluence intended as a tongue-in-cheek rival to the great and the good. While the populist side of the festivities fell out of favour in the 1960s, it now dominates this living tradition, albeit in a considerably more media-friendly form.

Detailed description




Laurence Marti : Le carnaval jurassien. XIX et XXe siècles (Intervalles. Revue culturelle du Jura bernois et de Bienne no 33). Bienne, 1992

Laurence Marti et al. : Carimentran. Le carnaval franc-montagnard. Aubonne, 1998

Simone Quenet : Le Rai-tiai-tiai aidjolat. Un témoin linguistique pour le Jura. Analyse lexicographique d'un journal de carnaval avec une attention particulière portée aux alémanismes (Mémoire de licence, Faculté des Lettres de l'Université de Neuchâtel). Neuchâtel, 1998

Célestin von Hornstein : Fêtes légendaires du Jura bernois. Réjouissances et Traditions populaires qui s'y rattachent. La Neuveville, 1924

Télévision Suisse Romande : Le Carnaval du Jura, à l'occasion des 40 ans du carnaval de Bassecourt (DVD-vidéo). Genève, 1996

Télévision Suisse Romande : Le carnaval du Jura (Collection De si de là). Genève, 1996





République et canton du Jura
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