RCF Hauts de France, live from the Gayant Festival

RCF Hauts de France, live from the Gayant Festival
RCF Hauts de France, live from the Gayant Festival

The Gayant Festival commemorates the victory of the city of Douai in 1479 against the French royal troops. Douai was then under the authority of the Count of Flanders and benefited from the protection of Saint Maurand. From then on, an annual procession was organized to celebrate the victory, and the giants made their appearance from 1530 when the guild of manneliers (makers of wicker baskets) had a “gayant” built. The following year, the guild of fruit growers financed the construction of a companion for ‘Monsieur Gayant’. The Gayant family grew (3 children: Jacquot, Fillon and Binbin) and took root in the minds of the Douaisiens so much so that “gayant is our grandfather to all”. This is evidenced by the song that accompanies the Festivals “Come on, tell me a little my friend, sweetie that we will see everything for good there? Mary Cagenon will be seen there, and she will dance to the sound of the violin.” The Giants were destroyed by bombing during the Second World War but were rebuilt and the Festivals were listed as UNESCO heritage sites in 2005.


Holidays Schedule
The Gayant Festival is an opportunity for the city to host many activities, including the traditional release of pigeons or the throwing of sweets by elected officials. The Giants, made of wood and wicker, roam the streets. The smallest “Ch’Tiot Tourni” is barely 2 meters tall and weighs 45 kilos while Mr. Gayant is over 8 meters tall and weighs 370 kilos. The Festivals are also enlivened by concerts, street art companies, wrestling shows and a fireworks display to close the event on Tuesday, July 9 at 3:30 p.m. Once the Festivals are over, the Giants fall into a long sleep before rising for the next editions, witnesses to the living regional traditions.


Meeting of the organizers
The Haut de France branch of RCF will travel for the occasion to meet live with many personalities who bring this festival to life: Frédéric Chéreau, mayor of Douai, Grégory Leplan, president of the corporation of porters and collectors of the Gayant Family, Pierre Bonnaure, director of the Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai and specialist in the history of the event, Sylvie Debreyne, president of the Union of Douai traders and artisans and restaurateur who are involved in the event and Isabelle Brean, basket maker who maintains the giants.


Join us from 11:30 a.m. on 97.1 in Lille, 95.1 in Douai or on -

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