Stabroek Local Customs

  • Gansrijden
    Gansrijden
    by Helga67
  • Local Customs
    by belgianchocolate
  • A local knight.
    A local knight.
    by belgianchocolate

Most Recent Local Customs in Stabroek

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    Gansrijden (Goose riding)

    by Helga67 Written Feb 3, 2008

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    Gansrijden

    "Gansrijden" is a folkloric game which still exists in some villages in the north of Antwerp near the Dutch border (Stabroek, Hoevenen, Lillo, Berendrecht, Zandvliet, Ekeren). A dead goose is hung upside down on the gallows. The participants dressed in traditional uniforms (every village has its own colours) ride on a Belgian heavy horse to the gallows and try to tear off the head of the goose. This can take a while (up to 2-3 hours). The one who tears off the head is the winner and will be called king. During the game local merchandisers will sponsor some money. The king will get the money but must spend it in the local pubs to celebrate his victory.

    The kings of the villages will come together at the end of the "gansrijden" season to play a last game to become emperor.

    In Stabroek this game takes place on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday (40 days before Eastern). It starts in the afternoon around 3 o'clock.

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    What I think about it?

    by belgianchocolate Updated Mar 28, 2004

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    I got no idea.
    It feels at least a bit strange to see
    an animal used this way.

    And no I didn't wait to see the head get ripped off.
    Personally I like to see the goose like in the picture.
    The villages got lots of water birds in the area
    because of the schelde but also a lot of
    lakes and ponds.

    Weird to see rare birds in this industrial setting near the harbor...
    (best place for a walk and to see some wildlife ,
    the castle of berendrecht , must see actvity)

    Oh , and before I forget to tell it's all FREE.
    the 'ganzenrijden' as well as the birdwatching.

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    And the woman?

    by belgianchocolate Updated Feb 25, 2004

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    The woman have got their own competition.
    The winner can't apply for 'emperor'.
    The nice thing about their competition is
    that the price money is for charity purpose.

    That price money can get as high as 6000 euro.

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    Dit is Belgisch!

    by belgianchocolate Written Feb 24, 2004

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    Hamburger en witte pens

    This is Belgium.
    We can't do without waffles ,
    burgers (forget about macdonalds -
    you'll never eat those again) ,
    lots of beer , genever
    (it's very cold that time a year)

    Also a lot of noise is needed...
    It isn't a high speed competition...
    everything seems to go it's slow way.

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    When does it takes places...

    by belgianchocolate Updated Feb 24, 2004

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    Have a look around in the local papers.
    In general the festivities take place half februari.
    It's their local carnival.
    (that has something to do with Christianity ,
    and a period of 40 days abstaining from food. )

    The 'Emperor' competion takes place at the end of march
    in the village from the 'emperor' of the year before.

    Information about the 2004 competion.

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding

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    The horses...

    by belgianchocolate Updated Feb 24, 2004

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    Seen the last picture in the tip previous
    to this one? Wondered about the horses?

    Most horses used in the competion are
    'Brabantse trekpaarden'
    But Belgian horses are their official name.
    The famous belgian breed of horses were used
    to work the land in ancient times.

    They are much heavier build then other races.
    The horses were used in the harbor to move
    heavy cargo. In the mines to drag the charcoal
    in wagons underground.

    Soon they became very popular all over the world.
    One source mentiones that in 1910 35 000 horses
    were sold worldwide.

    Nowadays they are only used in forestry in the 'ardennen'.
    To move away trunks where modern
    machines can't get.
    They are know as the logo for 'palm'.
    A brand of beer.

    I never saw so manny of these horses together.
    They became very rare when machines took over
    their labor.

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    clothing

    by belgianchocolate Updated Feb 24, 2004

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    A local knight.


    Every organisation has his own clothing.
    Sometimes in the colors of the villages escutcheon.

    Or in the case of this brave knight in the picture ,
    a smock froc.
    This was the clothing of the 'knights' of Berendrecht.

    A 'smock froc' is the most common clothing
    when folklore festivities take place in Belgium.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    This is how it goes

    by belgianchocolate Written Feb 24, 2004

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    The locals gather around in the center of the village
    with their horses.
    Between two trees or under a wooden construction
    a (now) dead goose hangs upside down in
    a net (covered with slippery soap - info from a local).

    In a certain order they all drive up to the goose
    and try to tear the head off.

    The winner becomes king of the society
    and is send out to the 'emperor' competion
    together with the persons before the head goes off.
    The person who becomes 'emperor' take the competion
    home to his village.

    What is there to win?
    Money , money money and honour.
    All local shops add money.
    This is not for the person himself.
    He has to organise festivities and treat
    at the local pub...

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    Gansrijden - goose driving

    by belgianchocolate Written Feb 24, 2004

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    Centuries ago it was a yearly festive activity
    in a lot of villages from the border in the north
    till the capital Brussels.
    Gansrijden

    Today there are only a few villages left.
    Stabroek , Berendrecht , Zandvliet , Lillo Hoevene.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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