Fête de l'Escalade is marked in Geneva every year on December 11th or the closest weekend. It celebrates the failure of the surprise attack by the troops of Charles Emmanuel I, the Duke of Savoy, in 1602. The troops were ready outside the walls of Geneva at 2 o'clock in the morning, but Geneva citizens were alarmed by the night guard and prevented them from climbing the wall (that's why it's called Escalade). The invaders were defeated, and since then the day has been celebrated by torchlight processions, historical reenactments, folk music, and dancing.
There is also a special race dedicated to the occasion. If you are not a runner, you can indulge in the bountiful chocolate. At l’Escalade, the city’s largest festival, marzipan-filled chocolate cauldrons are broken, and the sweets are passed around to the public.