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Eupen Rosenmontag 59(c)www.ostbelgien.eu Michael Dehaspe

Carnival in East Belgium: a festival for young and old

Brass bands proudly rehearse their marches, the float builders place the final touches to the floats, the sewing machines rattle away in the workshops… Everyone is getting ready for a major festival: Carnival!

Carnival Agenda

 

 

Let the festival begin !

Carnival is quite a tradition in East Belgium. Discover how the different towns and villages celebrate the "fifth" season of the year. In a large part of East Belgium, carnival is celebrated in the Rhineland tradition, with its own princes, processions and customs.

As for Malmedy, during the Cwarmê, carnival-goers dressed in traditional costumes march to the rhythm of traditional music and tease the public with humour.

 


Eupen Rosenmontag 60(c)www.ostbelgien.eu Michael Dehaspe
Eupen Rosenmontag 60(c)www.ostbelgien.eu Michael Dehaspe

Alaaf! Helau! Fahr’m Dar! : the Rhenish carnival tradition in East Belgium

In a large part of East Belgium, Carnival is celebrated in the Rhenish tradition. Accordingly, certain elements such as the omnipresence of the number 11, the reign of a carnival prince, and the "Women's Thursday" on the last Thursday before Lent are typical. Join one of the great processions, such as on Rose Monday, and admire the remarkable floats and flamboyant costumes, and enjoy the general good atmosphere.

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Malmedy Cwarme Lu haguete 38(c)RSI Malmedy
Malmedy Cwarme Lu haguete 38(c)RSI Malmedy

One of a kind : Cwarmê in Malmedy

The people of Malmedy have been celebrating carnival for more than half a millenium. Since, multiple influences have made it a greatly folkloric festival with its own precise codes and rules. During the big parade on Sunday, traditional Malmedy masks and costumes are on show to draw spectators into their mischievous but friendly games. Welcome to the carnival in Malmedy, or as the locals would say:  « Binv'nou a Cwarmê d’Mâm’dî ».

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Carnival pastries

The pleasures of carnival can also be enjoyed in the belly! During this time of year, local bakeries concoct special pastries that are unobtainable during the rest of the year. The "Puffel" is mainly a leavened pastry in the shape of a ball. On the savoury side, carnival-goers count on the "Salade Russe" or herring salad, a dish based on potatoes, beetroot and herring, to restore their energy. Of course, Belgium's favourite drink is not to be missed, and the craft breweries of East Belgium are joining in the festivities by offering their best beverages to carnival-goers.

Kelleter (7)
Kelleter (7)

Sweet tooth ?

In the Rhenish tradition, it is common practice to serve sweet, nutritious and tasty carnival pastries. Deep-fried pastries are perfect for the season, celebrating the end of winter, but storing up energy for the Lenten fast ahead. It is the same in East Belgium, where local bakeries produce special pastries that are not for sale during the other months of the year. Puffel pastries are like doughnuts, made from yeast dough formed into large balls.

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Heringsalad (c) www.malmedy.be 1200x628px
Heringsalad (c) www.malmedy.be 1200x628px

Or salt tooth ?

On the savoury side, carnival-goers count on the "Salade Russe" or herring salad, a dish based on potatoes, beetroot and herring, to restore their energy. Of course, Belgium's favourite drink is not to be missed, and the craft breweries of East Belgium are joining in the festivities by offering their best beverages to carnival-goers.

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Can't get enough of carnival?

Then take a look at the museums in our region and discover interesting carnival exhibitions

Malmedy Malmundarium Karnevalsatelier 08(c)Christian Charlier ostbelgien.eu
Malmedy Malmundarium Karnevalsatelier 08(c)Christian Charlier ostbelgien.eu

Are you interested in the carnival on Malmedy ?

Then visit the Malmundarium and step into the rich past of this century-old tradition.

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Eupen Stadtmuseum 10(c)Eupener Stadtmuseum
Eupen Stadtmuseum 10(c)Eupener Stadtmuseum

Or visit the permanent exhibition in the Eupen City Museum?

On almost 400 square metres, around 280 objects illustrate the history of the city. A small part of the exhibition is dedicated to the many sporting, musical and folklore organisations that have existed in Eupen. The Eupen carnival is given a prominent place and is documented in all its diversity by means of costumes, emblems and a rich collection of pictures.

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