Ros Beiaard Ommegang - The Bayard Horse Parade
30 May 2021
Dancing giants, 20 unique floats, 2000 costumed actors – in the centre a gigantic horse carried by twelve strong men: Since 1461, the Bayard Horse Parade in the old town of Dendermonde, has been commemorating the legend of the horse Beiaard and the four Haimon children. This 10-yearly spectacle attracts around 100,000 spectators to line the streets. Together with acrobats, stilt-walkers and flag-wavers, they celebrate the traditional festival, which ends with a big firework display. The parade was originally planned to take place in May 2020, but was postponed by one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Every year, however, always on the last Thursday in August, the three Dendermond giants of the guilds Indian, Mars and Goliath parade through the city in Traditional Giants Parade, entitled Katuit. Both processions have been listed as intangible world cultural heritage by UNESCO since 2005.
The legendary story of the Bayard Horse and the four Haimon children originates from a medieval novel. It spread over large parts of Europe and includes folk songs, tales and pictorial processions to keep the memory of the heroic story from the 15th century alive.
Groups (of 25 persons or more) can currently reserve tickets for the grandstands along the procession. Tickets already purchased for 2020 remain valid for the 2021 Bayard Horse Parade.