Social Event

Visit to the Carnaval Workshops

Aalst Carnival. Well known throughout Flanders and whole Belgium. Obviously the recognition UNESCO gives our Carnival, makes us extremely happy.

The term "heritage" reminds us of old buildings or parchment manuscripts. But today World Heritage stands for a much broader concept. In jargon it is referred to as 'intangible cultural heritage' or, in other words, the so-called popular culture. Carnival in Aalst is an excellent example thereof.

The odd mixture of an ancient popular happening and the typical kind of humor particular to Aalst and that consist of a cocktail of slight mockery, heavy caricaturing and recalcitrant anarchism, turns Aalst Carnival into a unique event.

Carnival is first and foremost a popular feast. A feast held by and for the 'Aalstenaar', the inhabitant of Aalst. During Carnival it makes no difference who you are or what you do; every year again our city is experiencing this very special feeling of solidarity, three days in a row.

This singularity made us conscious of our 'damn' obligation to present Aalst Carnival to UNESCO as an example of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In November 2010, at the occasion of the UNESCO Congress held in Nairobi, Kenya, Aalst Carnival was actually recognized as a World Heritage item. Of course this recognition is a tribute to the typical heritage elements such as the parade, the Giants couple, the 'Ros Balatum' ('Horse Novilon'), the 'Gilles', the onion throw, the Voil Jeanetten, ... but most of all it is a recognition of the unselfish efforts of the large number of people working on the creation of Original carnival floats, costumes, songs and dances for many months, every year again. Irrespective whether they are member of official carnival groups, members of the so-called 'loose groups' of individuals carnivalists. It is they who are entitled to this recognition.

A visit to the carnival workshops is the perfect way to get to know the famous Aalst Carnival better. Join your guide in taking a look behind the scenes in the carnival workshops. Here you will see how Aalst locals put their creativity into practice to make their procession floats.

A maximum of 120 people can join the social event. Subscribing to the social event is on a first come first serve basis.

Hoge Vesten, 9300 Aalst

At walking distance from the venue (Kaai 17):

Followed by dinner and post dinner drinks at Keizershof Hotel

At walking distance from the Carnavalswerkhallen: