Since then the event has been expanded into a parade and full-scale festival which happens once every three years. Held every year in February at the Flagey Centre in Brussels, the popular event seeks to promote cartoons and animated films; while bringing together artists, filmmakers, and fans of the … The days of cat throwing are long gone, thankfully, ending in the early 19th century, although art from the time still marks the history. It has been a long journey for the festival to go from hate and fear to love and adoration. In the 1930s cats were again thrown from the bell-tower in Ypres. What is interesting is that for all this eagerness to avoid looking satanic, there seems to have been an element of Pagan sacrifice in the ritual killings. Yes indeed, the persecution De Kattenstoet © BeerTourism.com of felines has been elevated to the status of a festival in Ypres, and is called the 'Kattenstoet'. People in medieval Ypres, Belgium, had a festival called Kattenstoet where they’d throw cats from the belfry tower to symbolize the killing of evil spirits. I heard about the Cat Parade shortly after I moved here in 2009. The next Festival will take place in 2024. They marched from the city hall to the belfry. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. 'Minneke Poes' by cirdub And while the Ypres celebration is a wonderful festival, it is worth noting that the city has still 350 years of shameful behaviour to make up for! Though, thankfully, these days the real-live hissing cats have been replaced by stuffed versions of the same. Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium (Photo by Zeisterre/Creative Commons via Wikimedia). The reasons for expanding the parade include the rebuilding of the city and creating tourism to help create a new economy for the area. 13 . The car was waiting, but in another parking lot. The origins of the misconception. The world needs more cat celebrations. Sources: Yahoo! In the fifteenth century a papal decree known as the Vox in Rama declared that the devil was known to manifest itself in the form of a black cat. The Edmonton Cat Festival in Alberta, Canada. The parade now boasts bands, marchers and dancers dressed as cats and mice, and giant cat effigies. A good example of this was in the city of Ypres in Belgium. The Festival is for 5 days and 5 nights in March each year beginning … I first stumbled across the Kattenstoet website in 2013 when researching the history of the cat in medieval times. The next Festival will take place in 2024. My story with Belgium begins with Hercules Poirot. When the cloth sales were good, only a few cats were killed, when sales were poor, more cats were 'sacrificed'. The history of the festival This barbaric practice continued for centuries – from at least 1410 to the last ritual killing in 1817. In Ypres, Belgium, for instance, townspeople hurled cats from a belfry onto the cobble streets below and then set them on fire. As Big Ben struck midnight on NYE, and people focused on their new year’s resolutions, I had but one thing on my mind and that was my long awaited trip in May to the Kattenstoet (Festival of The Cats) in Ypres, Belgium. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. The unusual gathering was borne out of the cruel medieval practice of throwing cats off of a bell tower, but in modern times has transformed into a spectacle celebrating cat culture through the ages. (Ypres still has a triennial festival called the Kattenstoet, but they throw feline stuffed animals.) I’m open to suggestions. Back in those days many cultures believed … Since then the event has been expanded into a parade and full-scale festival which happens once every three years. This festival has become a major tourist attraction for Belgium, garnering a crowd of over 8000 during its last edition. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. These days, the town celebrates all things cat with Kattenstoet (“Cat Parade”), a festival held every three years (the 2018 edition was the 45th). With screenings of more than 300 different animation movies from around the world, Anima is the place to be for fans of animation films and cartoons. Kattenstoet (which I wrote about more in-depth last year), is the (in)famous Belgian Cat Festival that occurs every three years on the second Sunday of May in the city of Ypres. The festival celebrates cats of legend and lore, cats in history, and cats around the world. Joshua J. No, it's also about throwing cats off the roof of the town's towers. The festival has grown to be a May 12 & 13, 2018. The next Festival will take place in 2024. Cat Wednesday is not now celebrated just by cat lovers - the festival has become a popular tourist attraction. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on The Kattenstoet, Festival of the Cats, is a parade in Ypres, Belgium, devoted to the cat. Anima: The Brussels Animation Film Festival. For example, 79 medieval cats were mysteriously slain in Cambridge, England, by the townsfolk in the 13th century. Detail from 'Kattenstoet '09 Ieper' by GeS Despite setbacks caused by war and recessions, Cat's Wednesday is now a well-established event which celebrates cats rather than killing them. The Kattenstoet (Festival of the Cats) is held every three years on the second Sunday of May; the next is scheduled for 2015. Of course, toy cats are still thrown from the bell tower, but now they are plushy toys which are eagerly caught by the children gathered below. This cruel practice continued until 1817 although the Kattenstoet continues to this day- involving stuffed cats instead. Cats in Fables, Fairytales and Festivals. grand celebration of cats. Ypres isn't all about medieval splendour, and monuments to the tragedy of war. Cat-Shaped Umbrella Stand Doesn't Want To Keep Your Brollies Organized, Alternative Hand Vacuums: Gloves That Sweep Up Pet Hair, 5 Home Remedies For When Your Dog Has A Cold, Sex Doll For Dogs Satisfies Their Urge To Purge, 5 Best Products To Keep Your Pets Off Furniture, Counters, And Other Mostly Flat Surfaces, 7 Stunning Slanted Bowls For Cats And Small Dogs, 'Nyan Juice' For Cat Lovers Supports Orange Farmers & Shelter Cats, 10 Surprising Things You Probably Don't Know About Snails, 5 Best Handheld Vacuums For Pet Hair Suction, 13 Sleeping Dogs Sure To Make You Chuckle, Drool...Over Cool Stuff To Buy Animal Lovers. Creative Commons Attribution. The origins of the misconception. In the hotel, they welcomed me with a smile and pastries. Halcyon Solutions Inc.. All Rights Reserved. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. Kattenstoet, or the “Festival of the Cats”, is held once every three years and consist chiefly of parades featuring giant cat effigies, brass bands, marchers and people riding on … The Cats' Parade is held every third year in the Flemish town of Ypres (Ieper) in Belgium - a celebration of the history and tradition of cats. Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium (Photo by cirdub/Creative Commos via Wikimedia). The first parade was held in 1938 with music, a jester, and a bunch of altar boys carrying a bunch of plastic cats. As Big Ben struck midnight on NYE, and people focused on their new year’s resolutions, I had but one thing on my mind and that was my long awaited trip in May … Even non-black cats were treated badly, even by the very low standards of medieval Europe. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. In Tokyo there’s a law forbidding pets in rented apartments, which explains the phenomenon of the cat cafe, where cat lovers can get their neko fix anytime. It’s located in West Flanders, and the city itself has a lot of history. Your use of this site is deemed to be your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use and Site Disclosures and our Privacy Policy. Today the macabre killings are remembered every three years during the Kattenstoet parade, which is however a cat-friendly event in which only toy cats are thrown from the tower, and people dress as cats and dance in the street, perhaps in a request of forgiveness to cats for their former ways. Articles in Fabled Felinesare written by. As Big Ben struck midnight on NYE, and people focused on their new year’s resolutions, I had but one thing on my mind and that was my long awaited trip in May to the Kattenstoet (Festival of The Cats) in Ypres, Belgium. The event, called Kattenstoet (Festival of Cats), still takes place every year on May 2, though since Ypres’ questionable form of pest control ended … No live cats are used in the Festival. Purr-n-Fur UK | The Ypres Cat Festival, or Kattenstoet. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. Cat burning was also practised: Although Ypres is not the only place where cats were used as victims in numerous folkloristic games, it is one of the few cities where the ritual still happens - … Mark says: November 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm. Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium In The 1950s (Photo by Cerile Deltombe/Creative Commons via Wikimedia). killing of the time. Since mouse droppings and gnawed fabric do not do much for a product's value, the city council invested in some cats to control the mice. They march through the town watched by large crowds of people, both locals and tourists, who turn out to cheer on the cats. Next parade 2018 ... Pictures: 1. At the parade, tableaux show themes such as 'Cats in Language and History', 'World Cats' or the show celebrates Ypres' new image as a Cat City. ABOVE: Photograph of the Kattenstoet in Ypres, Belgium in the late 1950s. They were not just put down, but taken to the local church and hurled from the bell tower. 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