Game of St. Evermaire

St. Evermaire, Game of

May 1
The Spel van Sint Evermarus, or the Game of St. Evermaire, is a dramatic reenactment of the slaying of eight pilgrims in Rousson (Rutten), Belgium, on their way to the Holy Land in 699. After spending the night at a farmhouse, the story goes, the saint and his seven companions were murdered by a robber.
This event is portrayed by the townspeople of Rousson, Belgium, each year on the first day of May in the meadow near the Chapel of St. Evermaire. Following a procession around the casket believed to contain the saint's bones, costumed villagers representing St. Evermaire and his companions are attacked by 50 "brigands" riding heavy farm horses and led by Hacco, the legendary assailant. By the end of the drama, the saint and the seven pilgrims lie dead.
Although the event was not commemorated for 200 years after its occurrence, the inhabitants of Rousson have faithfully presented their play for the past 10 centuries.
CONTACTS:
Belgian National Tourist Office
220 E. 42nd St., Ste. 3402
New York, NY 10017
212-758-8130; fax: 212-355-7675
www.visitbelgium.com
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 9