- Folklore and Tradition
The Tour de la Madeleine de Jumet is a religious procession, declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The march takes place every year on the Sunday the closest to July 22nd (the day on which Saint Marie-Madeleine is celebrated).
2,000 hikers and pilgrims as well as 150 riders, 50 bands and drum players leave the Heigne chapel in Jumet for a 22-km walk through the local communes. The most important moment of the procession is the tère al Danse.
The story of Saint Marie Madeleine
The legend says that plague devastated the region back in 1380, touching even the lady of the Heigne castle. The hamlet organised a procession, praying God to heal her. As they were walking through a field in Thimeon, a rider arrived, announcing her disease had suddenly vanished. The pilgrims danced in joy, in a meadow now called Tère al Danse.
Origins of the marches
Religious in the start, then influenced by the Napoleonic era, the processions evolved through the 20th century to the actual format. More information about the many marches taking place in the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse region can be found here.