Carnaval de la Laetare des Blancs-Moussis

Stavelot Travel Blog

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Laetre
We had a wonderful day in Stavelot, experiencing Carnaval de la Laetare des Blancs-Moussis. The festival dates back to the 1502, when the Prince-Abbott of Stavelot banned clergy from attending the popular Laetare festival. The towns folk, in support of the clergy, dressed up in white robes and masks (the "Blancs Moussis"), giving a unique flavour to the Laetare festival in Stavelot. Lydia and I took James, Colette and their kids to experience their first festival in Belgium, and also their first taste of the beautiful villages and countryside in Walloon.

The Blancs Moussis were strangely disturbing, the silent marching and blank features being reminiscent of the more esoteric variety of nightmare. After the main parade though the Blancs Moussis shed their serious walk and started throwing confetti at everyone and hitting them on the head with inflated pig's bladders and the odd dried herring. With lots of cheap beer, confetti being blown out of a cannon, pig's bladders and our own confetti fight, the day was an enormous amount of fun.

lamadude says:
Wow, how do you come up with this stuff? You have already seen more belgian folklore than me in my entire life :-)
Posted on: Mar 23, 2009
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Stavelot
photo by: westwind57