Country of the month: Belgium
During the three days before lent, the town of Binche in Belgium hosts carnival festivities attracting thousands of visitors each year. Carnival festivities are held in the historic centre of the town, with a multitude of musical acts, dancing and marching. The primary characters are what are called Gilles, which are clown-like performers, characterized by their vibrant dresses, wax masks and wooden footwear. Dating back to the 14th century, Binche’s famed celebration is deemed to be Europe’s oldest surviving street carnival.