Pageant of the Golden Tree

Pageant of the Golden Tree

Every five years, two days in late August
The Pageant of the Golden Tree, which is celebrated in the historic town of Bruges, Belgium, has been an official celebration of national history and local tradition since 1958. The tradition behind the festival dates back to medieval times. In 1468, a pageant was held commemorating the wedding of Princess Margareth of York and Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders. The central emblem of the tournament was a Golden Tree, which stood in the center of the market square where jousting knights competed for a prize horse.
The festival is held on two consecutive nights. The main event, which is performed for thousands of Belgians and tourists, is the dramatization of the historic pageant, including the grand entrance of the wedding party and the medieval tournament. In addition to these performances, as many as 2,000 actors representing about 100 groups parade through the streets of Bruges on floats, accompanied by giant puppets.
The celebration that took place in 2002 marked a modernization of the event. Bruges leaders, taking advantage of the city's European Union-designated status as a Cultural Capital, shed light on the region's modern history, in particular the period during which local magistrates and guilds gained more power under the ruling sovereigns.
CONTACTS:
Royal Committee for Bruges Initiative
BarriFrestraat 55
8200 St. Michael
Bruges Belgium
www.comitevoorinitiatief.be/activiteiten/2007/goudenboom/indexEN.html