Belgium hosts the Gilles Carnival

Belgium hosts the Gilles Carnival
Belgium hosts the Gilles Carnival
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Before the Lent throughout Europe is held a set of bright and colorful carnivals. All of them are unique and not resemble each other; among them are the Carnivals, in which participate people who come from all over the world, such as Carnival in Venice or in Nice. In these cities during the holiday because of the abundance of visitors is simply unreal to book a room or rent a cottage. Belgium is also one of those who during the Shrovetide festivities attract thousands of tourists. The most unique event in Belgium in this period includes the Belgian Carnival de Binche, or as it is called "the Gilles Carnival", which takes place 49 days before Easter in a small town of Binche 60 km from Brussels. In 2010, the main Belgium Carnival lasts from 14 to 16 of February.

Carnival in Binshe is the largest in Belgium and the second large-scale carnival in Europe after Venetian Carnival. For three days, when lasts the celebration, the population of Binche increases from 10 thousand to 300 – 400 thousand! Such popularity of Carnival de Binche is explained by the incredibly spectacular masquerade parades, which take place throughout the city. The city has about twenty costumed communities traditionally involved in the Carnival, but the most famous and popular are Gilles (Gilles de Binche). Gilles is man in a wax mask with black spectacles and red whiskers in the costume of the national colors of Belgium (to make them larger the costumes are stuffed with straw), wooden shoes on their feet and bells (apertintaille) on the belt. It is a kind of a symbol of the Carnival and the approaching spring. The Gilles solemn marches are held through the streets of Binche during the holiday and attract large numbers of spectators, while Gilles scatter in the crowds oranges, the catching of which is symbolizes a good sign. Carnival de Binche is so original and fascinating, that in 2003, the UNESCO put it into the list of the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", which of course added the popularity to the Carnival.

Binche (Einehe) is a small cozy town, which is located in the Thuin district, the Belgian province of Gennegau, and 17km from Mons (Mous). Through it passes the railroad Mons - Charleroi and during the Carnival from all the parts of Belgium are organized direct rail routes.

Date: 15/02/2010


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