- Folklore and Tradition
Join the Saint Lambert folkloric procession in Cerfontaine on August 15th. This march to military music, which features Napoleonic inspired costumes, has been declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The history of the Cerfontaine Napoleonic march
Cerfontaine is one of 40 villages in the Entre-Sambre et Meuse to have been integrated to the French territory in 1793 and stayed so until December 1815. Cerfontaine's Saint-Lambert march was created to honour the memory of the local conscripts who fought throughout Europe as part of Napoleon's great army. Among the survivors, many received the Sainte Hélène cross, examples of which you can see at the Musée de la vie régionale de Cerfontaine.
Cerfontaine's Saint-Lambert march takes place every year on August 15th. Firemen, grenadiers, policemen, Zouaves, Voltigeurs and artillery men then march to the sound of drums and fifres.
10 am: mass
11 am: start of the march
12.30 pm: the march returns
8 pm: the companies and squads return
The Saint-Lambert march is characterised by an additional 50 cavaliers as well as how details the Empire uniforms have been reproduced. You can find more information on the march here.
Origins of the marches
Religious in the start, then influenced by the Napoleonian era, the processions evolved through the 20th century to the actual format. More information of the many marches taking place in the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse region here.
Each match of the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse region has its tradition and rules. You will find the calendar listing the marches here.