Belgium’s Binche Carnival: oysters and champagne – Every year at dawn on Shrove Tuesday, the citizens of Binche don wax masks and ostrich feather hats in order to chase away the winter. UNESCO has designated the custom as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity because it is one of the most important days of the year in Belgium.
The custom is a part of the Binche Carnival. But even that is not the best part. Before marching through the town, champagne and oysters are served to the masked, hat-wearing Gilles (named after the composer Gilles Binchois). It is said that the Gilles save their money all year in order to splurge on this breakfast fit for kings.
Is a party even a party without champagne?
What is Binche celebrated for?
UNESCO – Binche Carnival On the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2008 (originally proclaimed in 2003) The town of Binche is located south of Brussels in the Belgian province of Hainaut. Each year, during the three days preceding Lent, it hosts carnival celebrations that animate the historic center and attract throngs of international tourists.
- With origins dating back to the Middle Ages, Binche’s renowned festival is one of Europe’s oldest street carnivals still in existence.
- Since the beginning of January, the town has been filled with a spirit of merriment and productivity as thousands of Binchois produce extravagant costumes and participate in drum rehearsals and themed balls.
On Shrove Sunday, the official start of carnival, the streets and cafés of Binche are filled with roving hordes of masqueraded revelers. On this day, the Mam’selles, men dressed in elaborate female attire, are especially prominent. The carnival reaches its climax on Mardi Gras, when the legendary Gille characters appear.
Several hundred Gilles dressed in red, yellow, and black costumes with ostrich-feather hats, wooden clogs, bells, and wax masks with small spectacles march through the town to the beat of the drum. Pierrots, harlequins, and peasants, along with costumed revelers and local brass and clarinet bands, follow the processions.
In response to traditional tunes played on the viola and drum, dancers execute a variety of steps, including the pas de Gille, a perennial favorite. The culmination of the day’s activities is the Gilles’ dancing in the Grand Place amidst fireworks. The carnival of Binche is a festival renowned for its spontaneity and the significant financial investment of its participants.
Popularity: 11455 Originating in Scotland Meaning: small goat or Christ’s servant The origins of the boy’s name Gilles are Greek, Scottish, and Gaelic, and its meaning is “small goat or servant of Jesus.” This webpage Chart of Popularity Trend Baby Name Ideas for Siblings Related Baby Name Lists
What nationality does Gilles possess?
Gilles (given name) (given name)
|Word/name||French form of Aegidius|
|Region of origin||France and Francophone areas|