John Vink • Carnival in Binche • Magnum Photos

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Carnival in Belgium

John Vink captures the annual carnival celebrations in Binche, Belgium

John Vink

John Vink Last 'Soumonces', one week before the actual carnival, when the brotherhoods follow the drums dressed in fantasy costumes. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 8th February, 2015. © John Vink | Magnum Photos
John Vink Last 'Soumonces', one week before the actual carnival, when the brotherhoods follow the drums dressed in fantasy costumes. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 8th February, 2015. © John Vink | Magnum Photos
John Vink The 'Soumonces en musique' takes place a few weeks before the actual carnival. The various brotherhoods, dressed in blue peasant tunics and wearing wooden clogs, dance to the music whilst they go f (...)
John Vink On the morning of Mardi Gras, during their first round of the city, the 'Gilles de Binche' dance in front of their drummers on the 'Grand Place' before going inside city hall to be greeted by the m (...)
John Vink The Public trying to catch oranges thrown by 'Gilles de Binche' during Mardi Gras, the day the 'Gilles de Binche' wear their ostrich feather hats to celebrate carnival. Binche, Province of Hainaut, (...)
John Vink Musicians waiting in a cafe for the start of the parade during the first day of carnival. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 15th February, 2015. © John Vink | Magnum Photos
John Vink The 'Soumonces en musique' takes place a few weeks before the actual carnival. The various brotherhoods, dressed in blue peasant tunics and wearing wooden clogs, dance to the music whilst they go f (...)
John Vink A child posing in a cutout during the last 'Soumonces', which takes place one week before the actual carnival, and involves the brotherhoods following drums, dressed in fantasy costumes. Binche, Pr (...)
John Vink A young 'Gille de Binche' going home, accompanied by his drummer after the first round of the city on the morning of Mardi Gras. On this day the 'Gilles de Binche' wear their ostrich feather hats t (...)
John Vink A drummer passing in front of a public urinal after the first round of the 'Gilles de Binche' through the city on the morning of Mardi Gras. On this day the 'Gilles de Binche' wear their ostrich fe (...)
John Vink The last 'Soumonces', which takes place one week before the actual carnival, and involves the brotherhoods following drums, dressed in fantasy costumes. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 8th Fe (...)
John Vink A urinal during the first day of carnival. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 15th February, 2015. © John Vink | Magnum Photos
John Vink A man covered in spray foam. The 'Soumonces en musique' takes place a few weeks before the actual carnival. The various brotherhoods, dressed in blue peasant tunics and wearing wooden clogs, dance (...)
John Vink First day of carnival. Binche, Province of Hainaut, Belgium. 15th February, 2015. © John Vink | Magnum Photos

Dating as far back as the 14th Century, the carnival of Binche is an event that takes place each year in the Belgian town of Binche during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. The central character is ‘Gille de Binch’, which locals dress up as with masks, wooden clogs, traditional clothing stuffed to create a haunch, and a hat with ostrich feathers. A ‘Gille’ is not allowed to walk in the street without a drummer accompanying him.