Binche Carnival tradition is one of most ancient and representative of Wallonia. Its famous town of Binche is situated south of Brussels in Belgium’s Hainaut province. Each year, during the three days preceding Lent, it is host to carnival festivities that mobilize the historic centre and attract throngs of foreign visitors. With roots dating back to the Middle Ages, Binche Carnival’s famed celebration ranks as one of Europe’s oldest surviving street carnivals. Binche has a close connection with Habsburg emperor Charles V (1500-1558), who ruled most of Europe during the Renaissance. The town’s motto, Plus Oultre (“further” in Old French), is the same as the Ghent-born sovereign. It is said that the costumes of Binche’s carnival is a 19th-century revival of a feast held in Charles’ honour in 1549, in which courtiers wore disguises were inspired from recently subdued Inca empire.
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