This popular festival happens every year on Trinity Sunday (57 days after Easter). It is called Doudou Festival or in French Ducasse de Mons. The festival lasts for eight days and starts with a feast on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday. Enjoy your stay at our hotel restaurant in Mons centre during the Doudou Festival.
The history of Doudou Festival originates in the Middle Ages. In 1349 the city of Mons was touched by the plague. As a result the authorities decided to organize a procession with the shrine of Waltrude. At the same moment they also brought the shrine of Vincent Madelgarus to the same location. The plague disappeared and they realized a miracle had happened. After 1380 the fraternity of Saint George has appeared in the procession. In the 19th century they made a separation between the religious parts of the feast and the non-religious parts. The feast comprises two parts, the procession, the descent and the uprising of the Waltrude’s shrine and the combat of Saint George.
On Saturday evening the feast begins with the descent of the shrine. In this religious ceremony the shrine is taken down from the altar. The priest will give the shrine to the town authorities for the duration of the festival. After this a procession with torches will begin in the streets of Mons. On Sunday morning the shrine will be placed on the Car d’Or. This gilded dray will be pulled through the streets by horses and is accompanied by guilds. At the end of the procession the Car d’Or has to climb a steep cobblestone street and the people on the streets will help to push the weight up. According to local superstition Mons will suffer great misfortune if the Car d’Or doesn’t reach the top of the hill in one go. This happened in 1803, during the French Revolution, in 1914, just before the First World War and in 1940, just before the Second World War.
The Game of Saint George is being played on Trinity Sunday and it represents the battle between Saint George (the good) and the dragon (the evil). This fight is called Lumeçon. The dragon will also attack the public so they will play a key role in this game. The people will try to take the mane of the tail from the dragon, they believe this will bring luck for the year. After the participants of the fight leave the square, the public rushes in to find the last lucky manes that are left in the arena. Except for this there is a lot more to do, a big concert on the Friday before Trinity Sunday, military bands play concerts everyday in Mons, a street clearance sale and the last Sunday there is another game of Saint George, but only for children. In general you can enjoy during your stay in our 4* hotel in Mons centre the festivities on the streets while listening to music, drinking a Belgium beer and local food.