11 May 2012

Carnavale de Binche (21 February)

This is Carnaval!  Mardi Gras if you will.  Most people here celebrate the entire week.  The Carnaval in Binche is one of the most famous in Belgium.  We had a week of vacation, and all got dressed up in random costumes and went out to look at funny people throwing confetti!

Fun Exchange students!  Since I had been sick, it was one of the very first times I got to meet the newies!

The parade was a lot of different groups dressed up, starting with the group of small kids, all the way up to the "gilles" with the plumed hats!

They were extremely heavy!

By the way, after the giant hat-ted gilles, the famous part of the Carnaval de Binche are the oranges.  Everyone in the parade throws oranges to the crowd!

I even got hit in the mouth by one!

I don't know where the confetti came from, but it was already on the floor, so we threw it back into the air.

By the end of the night, this is what was left in my pockets.  3 blood oranges, my sunglasses, and 5 different flavoured Galler chocolate eggs.

I had my own camera, but it's battery died, so I have a second batch from somebody else's camera.  This is the station.

Exchange students with gilles.

Their wooden-shoed marches made rhythmic mini-parades all day until the main parade started!

Flying oranges.

Shopowners and inhabitants of the Grande Place at Binche know to put screens up so the oranges do not break the windows!

The finale was everyone swaying to the snare drum beat and throwing oranges to the crowd.  They didn't taste bad either, the oranges.  Though we were surprised that they were blood oranges.
It was easy to find and collect the oranges, there were thousands.  It was just more fun to hand them out than to feel obligated to eat them oneself!

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