Created in 1960 by chocolate-maker Voisin, the cushion (cousin in French) is a speciality made in chocolate and almond paste. But not only... yum, come on, crunch in the lovely green coating and you’ll taste the nice curaçao flavour!
The cushion celebrates an old tradition from Lyon: which one? The famous "deputy mayor’s vow"! Let me explain: Notre-Dame of Fourvière, on its hill, is the most famous sanctuary, in Lyon. Even queen Ann of Austria came to pray the Virgin (she wanted a son, and she will have one, the future Louis XIV).
But a terrible curse arrived: the plague. The Reaper waited for people, this was a critical moment... Nothing could be done, only counting dead who piled up hours after hours. People felt helpless, so they prayed, they prayed! But no one seemed to hear their voices...
So, what could we do? Only Fourvière's hill and its sanctuary could save them. So, in 1630, a huge crowd of believers came in pilgrimage. Well, the piety worked a little... and the plague stopped! Oh, not for a long time, because in 1638 and 1642, it shown the tip of its nose again...
In order to ward it off forever, deputy mayors decided to strike a decisive blow: on March 12th 1643, they put the city under the Virgin Mary's protection and promised her that they made a big pilgrimage each year (on September 8th), on Fourvière hill.
To pray the Virgin and gave her altar candles, torches and one golden crown on a green silky cushion. Hey, that’s our coussin! Sure... Mayors' vow still exists. It takes place every year on September 8th (day of the Virgin Nativity).