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Ducasse de Mons (Doudou) 2023

The traditional village fair celebrates the victory of Saint George over the dragon


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Ducasse de Mons (or simply Doudou) is a mixture of a Catholic ritual, a street carnival, and a performance. The festival lasts for eight days—it begins on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday and ends the next Sunday. The celebration includes both religious and folkloric elements. On Saturday, the shrine of Waltrude, the Saint that protects Mons, is taken down from its altar and placed on a special wagon. The next day, the wagon is pulled through the streets to the top of the hill. The carriage is followed by locals wearing medieval costumes.

The second part of the celebration is dedicated to Saint George fighting the dragon. The fight known as Combat Lumeçon is staged at Grand Place, the main square of Mons. A huge dragon attacks not only Saint George but also the public. When the fight is over spectators try to get a mane from the dragon’s tail as it is said to bring good luck.

The tradition dates back to 1349. That year, the town suffered from the plague and the local authorities organized a procession that walked through Mons with the shrine of Waltrude. The epidemic ended soon after and a new tradition emerged: every year, on Trinity Sunday, the town venerates the saint and holds a fair. Also, in 2005, the celebration of Ducasse de Mons was added to the list of UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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