Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Assumption Day: Brugse Belofte Procession

The 15th August is Assumption Day which means that there is a Feestdag (Bank Holiday) in Belgium (except for Matt who had to work). Assumption Day is a Catholic holiday commemorating the departure of the Virgin Mary from this life and the assumption of her body into heaven.

Every year in Bruges since 1304 the Brugse Belofte (Bruges Promise) procession has taken place on Assumption Day.

In 1304 the Flemish warriors fought for their freedom against the French king and his army at Pevelenberg. The wives and mothers of the warriors promised an annual 36 pound candle as a sacrifice in hope that their husbands and sons would come back from battle unscathed.

Every year since a procession brings the candle from Our Lady Of Blindekenskapel to the Lady Of Our Potterie Church which happens to be on our road so we were lucky to be able to watch the procession from our own doorstep.

The procession consist of about 175 extras portraying different scenes. The promised candle is carried by twelve virgins which is solomnly handed over at the Lady Of Our Potterie Church.

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