10 Things To Know about Carnival of Binche in Brussels

Carnival of BincheThe Carnival of Binche is a world-renowned festival that takes place every year in the Belgium town of Binche. Many people from all over the world descend on Binche to celebrate the festival. Here are 10 things to know about the Carnival of Binche.

1. Festival last seven weeks – The festivities begin a full 49 days before the start of Lent. There are several dances and parties every weekend that lead up to Fat Tuesday.

2. Reserve rooms early – Brussels hotel booking activities begin over a year before the actual event takes place. For people who plan on visiting from out of town make sure to reserve early.

3. UNESCO Proclamation – UNESCO has proclaimed the Carnival of Binche a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. There have only been 90 such proclamations throughout the world.

4. Gilles Binchois – The men who dress up in white masks, small glasses, and wooden shoes are called “Gilles”, and are named after composer Gilles Binchois.

5. Orange Throwing – On the last procession of the carnival the Gilles throw oranges to the spectators in the crowd. Although a popular tradition some people have gotten hurt as well as property damage caused.

6. Popular with the French – Carnival of Binche is extremely popular with the French as they travel in droves to Belgium to participate in carnival activities.

7. Old Tradition – The carnival of Binche dates back to the 14th century and has roots in the Christian religion. The carnival started to receive world-wide acclaim in the 19th century.

8. Theme parks – Belgium theme parks are erected in celebration of the carnival. The celebration takes place in many more communities than just Binche.

9. Confetti Battle – The Carnival of Binche features the famous confetti battle that occurs on Fat Monday between various youth groups and culminates in the circle of friendship after the battle has occurred.

10. Fine Cuisine – The Gilles usually enjoy a breakfast that consists of traditional oysters and champagne the morning of fat Tuesday.