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Ducasse d'Ath

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Ducasse d'Ath
Figures of Mr and Mrs Goliath
TypeChristian, Cultural
CelebrationsParades
FrequencyAnnual
Related toDucasse de Mons, Ros Beiaard Dendermonde, Fête de Gayant, Douai France

The Ducasse d'Ath is a traditional parade held to mark the victory of David over Goliath. It takes place in the town of Ath in Belgium. It has been recognized as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, under "Processional giants and dragons in Belgium and France". The parade is held on the 4th Sunday of August every year and is characterized by the presence of large giants depicting many characters from local history.[1][2][3]

History

The city of Ath was founded in 1140 by Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut by buying territory from his liegeman, Gilles de Trazegnies. The city experienced considerable expansion in the 14th century, with a church dedicated to St. Julian of Brioude coming up outside the enclosure of the walled city. The procession used to begin at the church and proceed to the new town. The 4th Sunday of August was chosen so that it fell near the feast day of St. Julien which is on August 28. The large biblical figures in the procession also served the purpose of catechizing a largely illiterate population.[4]

St. Christopher of Flobecq
St. Christopher of Flobecq

References

  1. ^ "Processional giants and dragons in Belgium and France". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 10 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  2. ^ "At the "Ducasse d'Ath", David finally defeated the giant Goliath". La Libre Belgique. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  3. ^ Fourdin, Emmanuel. Annales du Cercle Archéologique de Mons, Mons, vol. IX, 1869 [Annals of the Archaeological Circle of Mons, IX, 1869] (in French). Archived from the original on 2017-02-07.
  4. ^ Ducastelle, Jean-Pierre. Géants et dragons : Mythes et traditions à Bruxelles, en Wallonie, dans le Nord de la France et en Europe Relié [Giants and dragons: Myths and traditions in Brussels, Wallonia, Northern France and Europe] (in French).
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Ducasse d'Ath
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