Bal du Rat Mort

Bal du Rat Mort (Dead Rat's Ball)

First Saturday in March
A huge carnival and ball, Bal du Rat Mort is concentrated in the casino of Ostende, Belgium, but also spread out all over the town. The carnival began at the end of the 19th century, launched by members of the Oostende Art and Philanthropic Circle (Circle Coecilia) who named the affair for a cafÉ on Montmartre (a hilly part of northern Paris, home to many artists) where they had whiled away pleasant hours. People are masked at the ball, and there's a competition for the best costume.
Bal Rat Mort Site
St. Sebastiaanstraat 26 bus 9
Koninklijke Coeciliakring
Oostende, B 8400 Belgium
32-59-50-05-12; fax: 32-59-50-05-12
Oostende Tourist Office
Monacoplein 2
Oostende, B 8400 Belgium
32-59-70-11-99; fax: 32-59-70-34-77