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Ros Beiaardоmmegang Carnaval
Aalst and surrounding
Monuments, Sculptures,  Pilgrimage
Monuments, Sculptures, 
Pilgrimage

Usually, people ride a horse. But in the suburb of Aalst, it is vice versa: people carry a huge horse. This is organized in the framework of a bright and noisy carnival named Ros Beiaardommegang.

All the locals come to the streets of Dendermonde – a small city not far from Aalst. There is a smile on their lips, and tears in their eyes – because the history of the celebration is quite sad. A big procession moves along the main street.

Guards in bright red suits, with pikes and gold crowns, head the procession. Then people wearing more strict clothes and huge puppets – Goddess of the Hunt, Mars and Goliath – appear. All the costumes are very bright. Somewhere in the middle of the procession – the giant horse Ros Beiaard with four horsemen on its back. The horse’s weight is one ton. So it usually takes rest on the main square of the city. But once in ten years, the statue is dressed up, and twelve people carry it across the streets of Dendermonde. The procession makes a huge impression!

According to a legend, Ros Beiaard is a giant horse with supernatural abilities that could adapt to the rider's height. Long ago Ros Beiaard belonged to one of the sons of the King of Dendermonde. The young man literally had to fight Ros Beiaard to make it accept the owner. However, during the war with Charles the Great, the King of Dendermonde had to sacrifice his horse to save the city and his family. The legend says that the horse was thrown to the bottom of a river with special weights. Ros Beiaard did not wait for his owner, stopped resisting, and sank.

This is a sad legend – that is why locals' eyes are full of tears. They sincerely worry about the death of Ros Beiaard. Despite this, Ros Beiaardommegang is a happy holiday. After the procession, competitions and fairs are organized all over the city. Performers wearing carnival costumes dance and entertain locals and tourists.

This is one of the most colorful events in Belgium. The carnival familiarizes people with the history of the city and the country and cheers them up.

Address: Ros Beiaard

Published by

Oksana Shmakova

All content and media files are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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