Beyond the festival, the burlesque, the colors, the tourist attraction, carnival primarily is a set of practices and behaviors passed down for generations. That's the case for the Gilles and their carnivals in the Centre region and in some vicinities of the Hainaut province. All these facets, lesser known by the general public – drummers' rehearsals, "soumonces", "Trouilles de Nouilless", "Vîs Grand Pés", the special relationship between the Gille and his "stuffer", the first drum beats in the still deserted streets, very early in the morning - all this goes far beyond the simple fun: it is the soul of a region, a way of life.

To keep a distance with the traditionally colorful carnival images, I purposedly have chosen to present black and white prints.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge