Sunday, June 10, 2007

Le Doudou

The remainder of the trip to Belgium was spent in the southern part of the country where we attended the "Doudou" in the midieval city Mons. Le Doudou is a festival held in this city for the last 658 years commemorating Saint Georges. The festival lasts for 6 days during which hundreds of thousands of people crowd the small streets of the city and drink large quantities of beer.

There are several different traditional celebrations during the six days, but the biggest focus of the festival is on Sunday, with a procession through the city culminating in the reenactment of the fight between Saint Georges and the dragon.

The procession includes many religious icons and ends with a golden carriage. The carriage must make it to the top of the hill beside the church, otherwise it is very bad luck for the city. Thousands of people run behind the carriage at this last part of the procession in order to help make sure it makes it to the top. Prior to the arrrival of the carriage, young men practice pushing against the wall of the church in order to get in shape for the final push of the carriage.

The Dragon has a tail made out of horse hair and it is considered lucky to pull some hair from the tail. Large numbers of young men crowd around the fight area to try to catch some of the tail.

Saint George

Et voila, la queue!

Friday, June 8, 2007


Sorry for the long absence from posting. We went up to Belgium this past week and then the batteries in my camera were dead so I couldn't transfer my photos to the blog.

We went up to Brussels for a day and I had the chance to buy a few French language comic books (bande dessinées). Comic books for French speakers are a far more serious business than English language comics, with a much larger selection of adult comics. Also, the pictures help with the context as I struggle to read the French. If you are in Brussels, I have been told that the best place for comics is the store "Brusels". It is just a few doors away from the stock exchange building in the Place de Bourse. The store had two rooms of comics and an upper floor with framed pics available for purchase.

After my morning shopping session we headed to see some arte nouveau houses. This beautiful one is for sale right now if you are interested in buying.

Later in the evening after a few Belgian beers we went out for some frites at the "best" friterie in Belgium. "Maison Antoine" located in Place Jourdan.

Et Voila! Les frites!