The narcissus, also known as “May snow” is a key attraction of the Belle Epoque. The flowers are best admired while walking along the marked paths. The narcissus bloom in the wild in May.
History taken from the site narcisses.com
For more than a century, narcissi have been the symbol of Montreux and the upper part of the Vaud Riviera. From the Belle Epoque to the first half of the 20th century, this unique phenomenon was the attraction of the year, as shown by the sumptuous Narcissus Festivals organized between 1897 and 1957. Orchestras, ballets, operas, fireworks on Lake Geneva and float parades in the middle of the city, nothing was too good to pay tribute to the region’s emblematic flower. In 1954, the event was even broadcast on Eurovision!
On the heights of Montreux, in the region of Les Avants, the picking of narcissus has been a real tourist attraction since the 19th century. People come from all over Switzerland, by train and by car, to take advantage of a flowering so abundant that it is called here the “May snow”. In 1961, a team from the TV program Carrefour made a trip to Les Avants and brought back these superb images. The emblematic flower of the region is unfortunately in constant decline since the sixties. It is therefore important to respect a few simple rules in order to preserve this fragile heritage.
- Do not pick narcissus in private fields.
- Do not pick daffodils with the leaves and when the ground is muddy.
- Prefer buying bouquets at small stands in front of farms, in villages or at train stations.
- Do not walk or lie on the flowers.