Hainuyers have partying in their DNA! In Hainaut, processions, folklore marches, carnivals and Ducasses one after the other almost every weekend throughout the year! Between public jubilation and traditional folklore, VisitHainaut invites you right to the heart of our identity.
The sun’s not up yet. But the whole town’s already dancing, accompanying the gilles to the sound of drums and the pipe. Clogs clatter on the paving stones. The dawn serenade precedes the carnival tunes. The gilles are the kings. Whether it be Binche, La Louvière, Chapelle or Soignies... Dozens of carnivals take place between February and April each year in the towns and villages of the Central Region. They’re sometimes called Laetare, Feureux... But the principle’s the same, from Sunday to Tuesday: they parade, in processions or rondos, and hand out oranges. Binche’s carnival, obviously, is the most traditional and recognised by UNESCO!
The Golden Chariot climbs the paved slope of Sainte-Waudru Collegiate Church assisted by a jubilant crowd... the good city of Mons is set to enjoy a new year of prosperity! It’s midday, and already thousands of people are awaiting the entrance of the Dragon for the so-called “Lumeçon” battle on the Grand’Place of Mons. Pulling a rope, hundreds of them try to catch some horsehair from the Doudou’s tail, to bring them luck. Saint George will soon be on the scene to bring down this mythical beast, assisted by other traditional characters of la Ducasse de Mons. This popular mid-June gathering will thrill young and old, who’ll love diving into this fantastic world. La Ducasse de Mons is also a gathering of lovers of celebrations and music!
Les Marches folkloriques
On the hill in front of you, dozens of soldiers from troops of the first and second empire point their blunderbusses at you. At the signal, the drums stop and a first salvo of detonations shakes the countryside. The smell of gunpowder. Thrill at the Saint-Roch de Thuin, at the Sainte-Rolende de Gerpinnes march or at the Marche Folklorique de la Madeleine in Jumet... Some of the five folklore marches of Entre-Sambre et Meuse in Hainaut.
La Ducasse d’Ath
At the end of August, the Athois locals go crazy on a grand scale! The town is invaded by about thirty Giants! The festivities won’t start until the marriage between the giant Goliath and his belle has been proclaimed. The big bell of Saint-Julien church then rings the start of la Ducasse! There follows the traditional combat between the giants David and Goliath and the processions through the town of Ath.