- 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
- 30 carnival floats