15 Mar 2009

WEEKLY WINNERS - Carnival - The Gilles

More participants here at Sarcastic Mom Weekly winners

Last week I showed you the Baloon Parade in Brussels. But I didn't show you the famous Gilles of the Carnival of Binche in Belgium who also participated in the parade.

The Gilles are the oldest and principal participants in the carnival and the proud of Belgium.
There are around 1000 Gilles, all male, some as young as 3 years old. All wear the traditional costume of the Gille.

They go out on Shrove Tuesday from 4AM until late hours and dance to traditional songs. (and drink )

In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The suit they wear is stuffed with straw, giving the Gille a hunched back and they also wear wooden clogs and have bells attached to their belt.

During the afternoon parade (while usually blood oranges are thrown to the crowd), the oldest Gilles wear these big hat made out of ostrich feathers. As it wasn't carnival anymore they didn't throw the oranges (fortunately)

They all gathered in front of a Café to have a few beers

before they put up their enormous hats.

It looks quite impressive !


Then they step and stamp with their feet to a quite monotone music


If you are interested in the whole history of the Gilles go here. The tradition goes back to 1549.


Melli said...

Well... of course, I did have to go read the other article too - because I had to find out what a Gille IS!

You do have the most fascinating stuff going on over there... I am certain we MUST have something, sOMewhere, equally fascinating... but I'll be darned if I'M ever around for it!

Nik said...

I can't imagine having to try and walk and balance with those hats on. I feel like I'd topple right on over. Wow. But that looks like it was a lot of fun to see!

Anonymous said...

I have a hat JUST like that..

Not really.. LOL

Tara R. said...

I love the hats! Great captures.

Jientje said...

I have never seen Gilles for real, you made a great reportage!

Lis @ ATruckerWife said...

Great pictures!!Thanks so much for sharing :)

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Great shots. My favorite is the second to last one.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those hats are crazy!

Mariposa said...

Now, those are HATS!

Love the photos...it was like, I was there...looking...and enjoying!

Pamela said...

I can't wait to find out how THIS started. ha ha..