The Gilles are the oldest and principal participants in the Carnival of Binche in Belgium. They go out on Shrove Tuesday from 4 am until late hours and dance to traditional songs. Other cities, such as La Louvière, have a tradition of Gilles at carnival, but the Carnival of Binche is by far the most famous. In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The Gilles, clad in their costumes and wax masks
The Gilles wearing their hat with ostrich feathers on Shrove Tuesday.
The Gilles, clad in their costumes and plumed hats


Around 1000 Gilles, all male, some as young as three years old, wear the traditional costume of the Gille on Shrove Tuesday. The outfit features a linen suit with red, yellow, and black heraldic designs (the colours of the Belgian flag), trimmed with large white-lace cuffs and collars. The suit is stuffed with straw, giving the Gille a hunched back.[1]

Gilles also wear wooden clogs and have bells attached to their belts.[2] In the morning, they wear a wax mask of a particular design. After reaching the town hall, they remove these masks for the afternoon. During the afternoon parade, Gilles throw blood oranges to the crowd or at its members, and some wear large, white, feathered hats. Gilles carry ramons, tied bunches of twigs that are said to ward off evil spirits, and baskets in which to carry the oranges.[1]

Gille de Binche (1952) by Robert Delnest.


  1. ^ a b "17/24.- Wallonia: Gilles de Binche" . Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  2. ^ "Colorful Belgian 'Gilles' dancers mark Mardi Gras" . International Herald Tribune. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2009-03-04.

External links


Information as of: 11.08.2021 11:43:54 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License of the text: CC-BY-SA-3.0. Creators and licenses of the individual images and media can either be found in the caption or can be displayed by clicking on the image.

Changes: Design elements were rewritten. Wikipedia specific links (like "Redlink", "Edit-Links"), maps, niavgation boxes were removed. Also some templates. Icons have been replaced by other icons or removed. External links have received an additional icon.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.