• Folklore and Tradition

Ath is a small town with a big claim to fame: its Procession of the Giants. A series of parades on the fourth weekend of August, the carnival stars seven giants with biblical and folkloric connotations, including the best known of them all, ‘Gouyasse’ (Goliath).

History

The festival in Ath, long known as “The City of Giants”, dates back as far as the 15th century, but if you miss the big weekend you can learn more year-round at the Maison des Géants, a grand old mansion dedicated to the tall tales which have infused this old town for generations.

The Festival

This infamous colossus has his giant-sized trousers ceremonially burnt on the Friday night of the festival, gets married on the Saturday and then finally fights his tiny nemesis David on the Sunday. After the battle, it’s time for live music and the tasting of the traditional "mastelles" - a macaroon and almond tart (also known as “Gouyasse" after the big man himself), before the weekend culminates in a hot air balloon festival.

UNESCO

Make sure to add these folkloric events to your travel lists, also recognised by UNESCO:

The Ducasse takes place every year every fourth weekend of August.

 

COVID-19 : Please keep in mind non essential travels are not supported by Belgian authorities. We do our best to keep our information up to date but it's always best to check with the site you wish to visit before heading there - by phone, email, social media or simply a look at their website - to see their latest opening hours and entry conditions. Some will prefer you to book your ticket in advance. Infos
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 August 2022 (1)


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

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