Walloon carnival "Cwarmê" - East Belgium Go to content
Malmedy Cwarme 09(c)RSI Malmedy

Walloon carnival "Cwarmê"

Walloon carnival "Cwarmê"

The Malmedy carnival differs from all the others because of its ancient customs. The procession on the Sunday is the climax. Over 1,500 people disguised in 15 traditional Cwarmê costumes parade through the streets, and each of them has a special role to play.

Date & time

10.02.2024 - 13.02.2024
From 00:00 to 00:00


Malmedy, centre

T. +32 (0)80 22 76 64 / +32 (0)80 33 02 50 E. tourisme@malmedy.be S. www.malmedy-tourisme.be

The celebrations go on for a total of four days, from Saturday until midnight on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. In Walloon, these 4 days are called les grandes haguètes, in contrast to the four 'Fat Thursdays' before carnival, which are referred to as les petites haguètes.

The festivities begin on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday all the costume wearers take part in a colourful procession through the town, whereby each of them has his or her own very special role to play. Each costume, each object, each gesture, and even some special shouts all have a historical background.

The Monday is reserved for humorous theatre performances on mobile stages, in which topical events are lampooned. In these recitations, ironic and mocking remarks are made in Walloon, and the performers poke fun at the misfortune of some of their fellow citizens. Altogether, all the utterances at the carnival are made in Walloon, both spoken and sung. And even after three days of exuberance, the people of Malmedy still don't feel tired.

On the Tuesday, the so-called mâssis toûrs ('dirty parade') is on the programme. The association members wander from tavern to tavern until, at 7 p.m., the haguète is burned in Albert Square (Place Albert 1er). Then it's time for a final lap of honour with music, before the carnival gradually comes to an end.