• Folklore and Tradition

A Carnival of Bears? Not rea ones - no worry there. Bears simply are the town's symbol and the carnival's mascot.


Legend has it that Charles Martel, raised in the Walloon town of Andenne by his grandmother, killed a terrifying bear at the age of nine - with only a hammer. Since that feat by a local lad (who would go on to become an all-conquering Frankish King), the bear has been the proud sigil of this town. So it should come as little surprise that its own unique festival, Carnaval des Ours, is very much ursine-themed.


Taking place every March, the celebrations centre on a parade of dancers in bear costumes - and a bizarre “maiden’s cage” used to imprison various local girls en route. At the end of the parade, to the delight of all children present, the King and Queen of the Carnival throw hundreds of teddy bears into the crowd from the balcony of the Town Hall.

A few numbers

  • 500 participants, all wering a bear outfit
  • 3 giant puppets 
  • Cheerleaders
  • 30 carnival floats
COVID-19 : We do our best to inform you with the latest updates... Best, though, to check with the operator or lodging you have made a booking with before getting on the road. Please note that the Covid Safe Ticket (or health passport) is mandatory in Wallonia.  Infos

Before getting on the road, do contact the closest tourist office to your destination. If you are going to the Hautes Fagnes, please remember the number of visitors is limited each day. The Hautes Fagnes Tourist Office will give you the latest details. The Luxembourg and East Cantons Tourist Office will give you the ski slopes opening times. For additional skiing and winter sports information in Belgium, you can contact the East Contons Tourist Office.

This information is given for indication purposes only, best to check with the site you hope to visit before heading there - by phone, email, social media or simply by visiting their website.

Event planned for the month of March 2022 (1)

(1) Dates and programme may be subject to change.

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