- Folklore and Tradition
‘Les Fetes de Wallonie’ (The Wallonia Festivals) celebrate Belgian independence, patriotism and Walloon identity, commemorating the famous revolutionary days of September 1830 when the country was officially formed.
Although marked across southern Belgium, the biggest celebrations are in Wallonia’s capital city, Namur, where as many as 250,000 people descend for the festivities every year.
A joyful spirit
Highlights include a heartwarming mass said in Walloon on the Monday morning as well as traditional dances by the Frairie des Masuis et Cotelis Jambois, famous throughout Belgium
The ‘Combat de l’Echasse d’Or’, or the Fight for the Golden Stilt, which takes place on Place St. Aubain on the Sunday afternoon, is much looked forward. During this ancient and near-sacred bout, two groups of stilt-wearing contestants stand in opposing lines, then move into battle to the sound of drums. The aim is to make their direct opponent fall using only their elbows or stilts, with the last man standing hailed the champion. Needless to say, strong beer follows!