Friday 10 May 2013

Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium

image credit: cirdub cc

The Kattenstoet (parade of cats) is a parade in Ypres, Belgium, devoted to the cat. It is held every third year on the second Sunday of May. The parade commemorates a tradition from the Middle Ages in which cats were thrown from the belfry tower of the Cloth Hall to the town square below.

The throwing of the cats from the belfry is followed by a mock witch burning. There are various legends about how the throwing of cats originated. One possibility is that cats were connected to witchcraft, and the throwing of the cats symbolised the killing of evil spirits.

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