The Bataille des Reines is an annual institution in the local community; a real rural day out that brings all the locals and tourists together.
The fete begins on Saturday with a parade from 4.30pm around the streets of Chamonix. The 'cow fights' begin at 9am on Sunday in the Bois de Buchet.
Although it is billed as a cow fight, it really isn’t as bad as it sounds, the cows just nudge eachother around a field, to stake their claim as the head of the herd, hence the name “Bataille des Reines” or “Battle of the Queens”.
The cows are sorted according to age and weight before being led into a ring. They then do their best to ignore each other and eat grass until their owners prod them into a bit of a pushing contest. The first cow to back off is escorted from the ring, and so it goes until the stroppiest cow remains and wins the title of Queen.
Even if cows aren’t your thing it is a good event for a wander round; you can sample local dishes and there is always some form of entertainment, usually in the form of a yodelling choir or some Alpine horns. In addition, there is a local produce market on both days.