- Folklore and Tradition
From May to September 2018, discover the Folkloric Marches in Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, 15 Walloon folkloric treasures recognised as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Each march in Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse has its own traditions, customs and characteristics. The event generally takes place over 3 days, each marked by a range of highlights.
The Saturday is often dedicated to reunions. The Sunday morning, a more grandiose day, drums awake the village in the early hours. You can also observe Mass in honour of the patron saint, the presenting of medals, "batallion square"... Some comities also sometimes organise a lantern procession as night falls.
These marches originate from the processions in the Middle Ages. The inhabitants would honour a saint, who had miraculously saved villagers, their land and their beasts of an illness or a misfortune. Often, the date of the march is on the day in which the saint is honoured. The purpose of the armed escort was to enhance its splendour and perhaps protect the relics and pilgrims.
The wearing of uniforms is marked by the first and second empires. Some uniforms are linked to the Napoleonic period (1800 - 1815). Others are the traditional costumes of diverse origins (Belgian and Dutch armies, civic guard, police...).
Each is the fruit of a long evolution and of diverse historical events that took place in the region in question.
Download the brochure " Les Marches mode d'emploi " (in French) and explore this folklore rich in colour, where festivities and traditions blend wonderfully.