Gilles de Binche

I’ve enjoyed my weekend immensely. I got home way too late on Friday do to much. Everything in the city center is closed after 7pm except some restaurants. Even the convenience store I tried to stop at was closed. A Steam sale and a suggestion from Rob prompted us to both buy Boarderlands 2. Everyone I’ve talked to as well as reviewers seem to like the game. Given the game’s 5.1 GB download, I wasn’t able to start playing until Saturday morning. I was able to try out the Siren and the Assassin class types. Though I’m not wild about the female Siren’s skill set, I can’t stand having Zero as an avatar. I find it annoying that the supposedly tough female character is the mage/support class. Why do women always get stuck with the support skills? It looks like we haven’t come far since Secret of Mana. Despite my conflicting avatar/skill set dilemma, I’ve been enjoyed the game both alone and cooperatively. Turns out, I find sniping the most entertaining, well that and setting my enemies of fire with the elemental guns available in the game. Headshots are almost imaba, it’s hard to justify play style that doesn’t focus on sniping/headshots, although that could be partially personal preference.

After spending most of Saturday playing games with my boyfriend, friends and brother, I was ready for an adventure on Sunday. A coworker and I attended day 1 of the three day festival called Gilles de Binche. Binche is the name of a City about 45 minutes drive from Brussels center and Gilles are. . . well Gilles. I’m not sure I can even come up with a US equivalent. I should note that I really did not wear clothing warm enough for the ~28F day. Though I had fun, I was constantly trying to warm up numb fingers and toes.

I have no idea what they were going for.

I have no idea what they were going for.


Gilles are exclusively men and boys from the small town of Binche. I thought at first that they would be street performers, but in truth, they are revelers who entertain crowds by marching around town to drumbeat while waving odd sticks. Why do they wave these sticks about? Traditionally, it was to ward away evil spirits in the 14th century, but now I think it is just fun for everyone involved. People come from all over Brussels and beyond to party in Binche. The mood at the festival is extremely lighthearted, the bars were full of tipsy patrons and the streets were crowded with children and tourists there to catch the fun.  The costumes the Binches wear on Sunday of the festival are whimsical.






They seemed completely random at times, and usually a large number of men (at least 5+) matched one another. There were also a few oddballs that didn’t match anyone, like this cosplayer I caught marching around. He seemed happy enough to pose for a picture. I also took the time to enjoy the architecture of the town.






Cathedral of Binche



Here is a photo of the old Cathedral in Binche. Catholic churches were simply the most interesting and beautiful buildings built in the early ages of European cities, so I always find myself fascinated by them during my travels. Whew it’s late, I’ll try to check in tomorrow.







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