Carnaval is the tradition here
Aalst is known all over Belgium for its carnaval traditions. There are several parades with the most famous one on tuesday: "Voil Jeanettenstoet", men overdressed as women. We haven't been here during carnaval, but you can see evidence of the tradition all over Aalst. On the Hopmarkt there even is a carnaval monument in honr of the Voil Jeanetten.
I went back to the city around 6:30pm. This photo is about the last part of the parade, The parade is 6 hours long yearly. The last part are those the most beautiful teams, all in all with music, lights dancers, so it's really entertaining.
This year 2004, Carnaval is in February..the parade is a must so I went to the city to witness how it looks these year, parade started at 1p.m but I went there around 2pm. , lots of people watching, as usual!!..noisy, colorfull, street dirty, carnavalist have their beers in hand, everywhere fun..I was standing for about an hour in a cold!!.,so me and my sis decided to have a warm drink in a nearby cafe..warm up and got seated, then went out again continuing the parade for another 2 hrs. and back home.
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On the third day of Carnaval, expect the so called * Vojl Jeanette* day. This is a parade in the afternoon within the city! This means you will see those crazy mans turned to be a woman on that day!! Huh...local custom in Aalst? Yup..not only those from Aalst but I'm pretty sure there are more of them coming from other places to join this kind of event, This is typical in Aalst during Carnaval, It celebrated on the * Tuesday * the last day of event. * Vojl Jeanette* means wearing some nasty, dirty , exagerated clothes to men...It can be clothes from their wife, mother or friends and simply wear anything they want to impress and let the public laugh. For them it's a real fun roaming the city with costum and a bottle of beer in hands.
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This is a yearly biggest festival in Aalst, It started in the year 1923 and celebrated until now, It becomes bigger and nicer event in every year. In 1953 they started to have a Prince Carnval and it followed as well a new prince yearly..
Every year the winterfair takes place in aalst on three squares.
This is the first fair in Belgium and takes of a week before carnival.
In aalst the town mayor opens the festivities together with her prince carnival.
A lot of attractions , shooting games and of course - this is Belgium after all - a lot of food
Please , try the 'pommes d'amour' , an apples in a red crispy sugar coat.
Don't forget the waffles , pancakes...nouga...
You can find the right dates for the fairs in Belgium with a simple click here.
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Saturday is marketday.
Every saturday Jeanneke and Wiske go to the market. There isn't much special for sale..
Everyday goods and food , fresh fruit , roasted chicken.
It's more to get a little in touch with the locals you should go.
Listen carefully to the language here. The dialect is very different from proper dutch.
The area of the 'grote markt' ,
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