February 26, 2014

Carnival and other photo ops

Prince Carnival - steps of the Louvain town hall in February 2013

It is time to get in the mood for the many colorful celebrations and photo opportunities in Belgium. Carnival is approaching and the country gets in a festive mood. A few dates, events...with photos of previous years.

Carnival is celebrated in Binche on March 2, 3 and 4.
Carnival in Aast,  March 2 and 3

Belgium's  famous carnivals are celebrated in Binche and in Aalst.
Binche, South of Brussels,  attracts thousands of visitors annuallyDating back to the 14th century, it is famous for its parade on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) of Gilles  - who are disguised with masks, red - orange costumes and wooden clogs.  They dance on the tunes of drums and brass. Some Gilles wear a hat with ostrich feathers and launch the "orange Gille" (small blood oranges) at the crowd. 
For some, the Gilles are descendants of the Incas who would have appeared in costume at parties hosted by Mary of Hungary in 1549. 


Aalst is located to the Northeast of Brussels, where Carnival is celebrated three days during which the newly elected Prince Carnival rules the city. On Shrove Tuesday, the day of the 'Voil Jeanetten' which means  'Dirty Jennie' or men dressed as women, the burning of the doll marks the beginning of the end of festivities.
Zinneke Parade in Brussels , Saturday 10 May 2014, from 3 pm
The Zinneke Parade dates from 2000 and is a great, surreal and typical Brussels parade through the streets and avenues. The Zinneke Parade gathers inhabitants, associations and schools from the different quarters of Brussels around 1 common project.It takes place every 2 years and these are two pictures of 2012.

....there are plenty more folklore event through summer, like this giants parade at the seaside town of Wenduine/De Haan in July.... the Brussels Ommegang, the wite Moussis from Stevelot, the cats in Ypres (not till 2015) .....
Come and have a look yourself! 
http://www.aalst.be/default.asp?siteid=2&rubriekid=185
http://www.kattenstoet.be/en/pagina/497-511/het-kattenwerpen.html
http://www.campaya.co.uk/news/content/top-5-belgian-folklore-festivals-wallonia-and-brussels