Learn 5 Things About Belgium’s Traditions
Each country has a set of unique traditions as part of their cultural identity. Belgium is lucky enough to have some that date back to the 14th century that we’ve found particularly fascinating.
Celebrates Mardi Gras with their own carnival season. UNESCO has designated the culmination in Binche an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Masterpiece. The Gilles of Binche can be found marching down the street ushering out cold and evil spirits while throwing oranges, signifying the coming of spring, at bystanders.
Another one of these carnivals in Stavelot has a parade of monks in white making quacking sounds and hitting bystanders with pig bladders filled with confetti.
Has it’s own road cycling race. The Ronde van Vlaanderen takes place every spring and is part of the UCI World Tour. (It’s happening this weekend!)
Gets two Santas for Christmas! Sinterklaas and Pere Noel can both give children presents. It’s also tradition on Christmas morning to enjoy a yule log cake and bread shaped like baby Jesus.
Celebrates giants. In August, the Meyboom Festival in the town of Ath features a parade of giant 20-foot tall puppets culminating in the marriage of Goliath, the town’s patron and protector.
Fights a dragon every year. People in the town of Mons gather to carry a shrine on a gilded wagon through town and up a steep hill before the Lumeçon fight between Saint George (representing good) and a dragon (representing evil). Bystanders participate in the fight and snatch pieces of the dragon’s tail for good luck.
Bonus: there’s a relatively new parade where this is relevant.
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