It seems like the ultimate achievement: the enlisting of both historical parades of Dendermonde on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Originally proclaimed on Thursday 25th Novembre 2005 and since 2008, inscribed in the dossier of Processional Giants and Dragons in Belgium and France. It enlists the worldwide renown parade traditions in Belgium and France.
Ever since, the Bayard Steed Parade and the Parade of the three Giants of the Guilds Indian, Mars and Goliath, proudly proclaim their title as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. For the Giants, this happens every year on the last Thursday of August. For the Bayard Steed, people only get to see it in the streets of Dendermonde every ten years.
Other Belgian cities like Ath, Brussels, Mechlin, Mons and French towns like Cassel, Douai, Pézenas and Tarascon, have their own processions. But only in Dendermonde, the Bayard Steed and its story forms the center of a historic parade.
This recognition by UNESCO as part of other processions, celebrates the exquisite historical value of the parades in Dendermonde with the famous Bayard Steed, the Giants of the Guilds and other remarkable parade elements (e.g. 4 Aymons Childeren) and the way they are encapsulated in the traditions of an entire local community which extracts a common identity from it.
The stories and figures portrayed in these parades are relevant in helping to achieve the UNESCOs strategic objectives. The traditions in Dendermonde are very much alive and treasured by the young as well as the old, the rich as well as the poor, the newcomers as well as the ancient residents.
People of Dendermonde consider it a great honor to be recognised by UNESCO for its continuous effort to keep the committee engaged in organising the annual Giants Parade Katuit and the Bayard Steed Parade every ten years.
The Ros Beiaardcomité takes the recognition by UNESCO as a quality label and a motivation to set the bar in the development of parades that combine the old and the new, by using innovative ways, but always with utter respect for ancient traditions.
Learn more about the dossier: Processional Giants and dragons in Belgium and France.