Monday, May 15, 2006

The Zinneke Parade

In addition to beer, chocolates and waffles, we are going to have to add "parades" to the list of things Brussels does better than the rest!

The Zinneke Parade, held in the city centre on May 13th, was truly a multi-cultural and creative experience. I would describe it as Carnavale meets Halloween meets the Funny Art Car Parade. (For more information on the origins and history of the parade, see They have also posted some incredible pictures! The ones above were taken by me and they simply don't do justice to the costumes and floats, nor do they capture the spirit of the event. But, I can post them without worrying about copyright issues!!!)

As it was explained to me, "zinneke" is a word from the Brussels dialect for a small mixed breed dog. Back in the day when the river ran through the City, these stray dogs roamed the canals and were loved and adopted by the city dwellers. The word "zinneke" has now come to symbolize a person from Brussels -- someone that is a mixture of the different regions of Belgium and different cultures from the city -- who speaks the Brussels patois, a mix of Dutch and French.

It's estimated that there were over 300, 000 spectators watching this year's parade, whose theme was "Brussels Imagines the Future." Thousands of participants spent months preparing costumes, floats and skits. A definite good time! Put this on your "to-do" list in 2008.

Long live the Zinneke!!

© 2006 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Next year--I'm there!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Cindy Lane said...

Better make that, "two years from now -- I'm there!"

5:37 PM  

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