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Folklore And Tradition : Carnival

Carnival of the "Grosse Biesse"

Carnival of the "Grosse Biesse"
© OT Marche en famenne "Grosse biesse"

This carnival originates from a little character called Gugusse. Learn more about him in Marche-en-Famenne on 01 and 02/03/14!

However, he's not the only character to take part in the carnival on the Sunday before Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday).

At the heart of the capital of Famenne, we found a surprising legend about a Grosse Biesse (large beast resembles a dragon) that gave its name to the carnival!

The carnival of Marche is a mixture of picturesque characters including the Grand Georges, last bell-ringer of Marche and the Grand Mautchî who, before 1995, was Carnival Prince.

The history of the carnival of Marche is also linked to local societies that have been participating to the carnival since 1960.

More than a mere party, it's the town's folklore that is on show in the streets!

In practice

You can sign up on the shop windows as of 8:30pm.

2pm - Show for children in a large marquee on place de l'Etang.
4pm - coronation of the Grand Mautchî.
8:30pm - concert and ball in the large, heated marquee.

7am - Pick up of the Gilles.
11:15am Rondeau of the Gilles on place de l'Eglise.
2:30pm - 53rd carnival parade.
5pm - Final rondeau.
8pm - Carnival party.


1pm - Gugusse sets off.
7:45pm - Burning of Gugusse's sack of malice.
10pm - Burning of the Gilles' bumps.
Midnight - Throw away the masks!

The parade on Sunday costs €2.50.


  • tel. : +32 (0) 84 31 67 93


  • tel. : +32 (0) 84 31 67 93
  • website :
  • email :

PLUSTourist information on the town MARCHE-EN-FAMENNE



We are not responsible for any changes in dates and/or programmes. Please contact the organiser prior to departure.