WHERE: Ath, Belgium
WHEN: 23 - 26 August 2019
Wallonia is a fascinating land, rich in charm, history and traditions. Every year, the beautiful town of Ath, hosts one of the most famous folkloristic events of the whole Region and probably of Belgium: the Ducasse of Ath.
An event that even originates in the fifteenth century, recalling the victory of David against Goliath. Today, it turns in the arc of 4 days, during the fourth weekend of August.
The highlight of the celebrations is the traditional Sunday parade, with the folkloristic parade, accompanied by 7 giants, which runs through the streets of the city.
During the celebrations, enormous biblical figures were used, used centuries ago to catechize a particularly illiterate population. The period, instead, was chosen, being the closest to 28 August, the day of the Saint Julien celebrations.
The Ducasse of Ath, today, is a very popular festival, which welcomes many tourists, from Belgium and the rest of Europe. The party was awarded the recognition of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
The proximity to Brussels makes Ath ideal for a trip out of the city, from the splendid Capital.
Photo ©, Daniel Leclercq
HOW TO GET
For medium to long distance distances, the aircraft is the best solution. Ath, is less than 100 kilometers from the capital, close to the two international airports of Charleroi, and Brussels.
Brussels National Airport, it's about an hour's drive, via the E19 and E429. From the airport, moreover, it is possible to use the IC train, with a journey time of approximately 75 minutes.
Da Charleroi Sud, by car, you need to travel approximately 90 km on E429. From this airport, however, there are no direct connections to Ath, by public transport.
The Ath train station is located in the city center, and allows you to easily reach the main points of interest in the city on foot.
Ath's Ducasse takes place over 4 days, from Friday to Monday, on the last weekend of August. Here, below, are the schedules and main events of the 2019 edition of Ath's Ducasse.
Friday, 23 / 08. Along the Esplanade, at 22: 30, big bonfire on the eve of Goliath's wedding.
Saturday 24 / 08. At 15: 00, accompanied by the procession, Goliath accompanies his girlfriend to marry her at the altar of the request St Julien. In the afternoon the legendary fight between David and Goliath. From the 20: 00, concerts and celebrations.
Sunday 25 / 08. The folkloric parade, accompanied by giant 7, runs through the streets of Ath, in the middle of the big crowd. Meeting at 09: 45 for the first procession to the station. At 15: 00, the procession starts in the opposite direction, from the Esplanade, to the Grand Place.
Monday 26. Throughout the day, the giants walk in the center of the city, to receive the thanks of the inhabitants. Parades and celebrations throughout the day.
WHERE TO SLEEP
It is not easy to find available facilities, close to the celebrations. Anyone wishing to attend the Ducasse of Ath, will have to book well in advance.
Availability is very limited.
In this case, if you have motorcycles to move independently, we recommend booking in nearby Beloeil, just a few kilometers away.
Au Petit Canteleu it is an excellent solution, with an excellent quality-price ratio. Alternatively, you can take a look at L'instant Au Présent