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.