Mardi Gras festival during the celebration of the Carnival of Binche. The "Carnival of Binche" was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO." Binche, Belgium. 16/02/2010.
"In the Belgian city of Binche the Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) festival is the most important day of the year and the summit of the Carnival of Binche. Around 1000 « Gilles » can be found dancing throughout the city from morning till well past dusk, whilst traditional carnival songs play. In 2003, the "Carnival of Binche" was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO."
"In Binche, the « Gille » is allowed to wear his Gille costume on Mardi Gras only. Tradition also forbids « Gilles » societies to make a performance outside Binche. Carnival has its strict rules.
In the very early hours of Shrove Tuesday, the « Gille » day starts with his dressing : « l’habillage ». This family ceremonial is only attended by initiates and a few invited close relatives. Later comes the tamboureur » (drum), fetching his first Gille at home. Along with friends and relatives, they go from house to house to collect the other members of their society. This is called the «ramassage».
At about 7 a.m., all the societies slowly start walking to gather in the centre of Binche to the tune of the drums. They go to the Town Hall, wearing their traditional wax mask. There, the jubilee of the entitled participants is celebrated.
In the afternoon, during the procession, the « Gille » wears his impressive hat covered with ostrich feathers and offers the public hundreds of oranges.
Other characters dance at his side : the Paysans » (peasants), the « Pierrots » and the « Arlequins ». But to be honest, the whole city is dancing to the bewitchin tune of the drums."