09.09.2016 - The procession...

...provides us with a picture of our own lives: The people of God in transit. What and Who is their destination? This persistent, age-old question is more pertinent than ever today.The 2019 Hanswijk ...

02.08.2016 - Procession 2019: Sunday the 19th of May 2019


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Mechelen prepares for Hanswijk cavalcade

30.01.2012 - Mechelen prepares for Hanswijk cavalcade

In 2013, it will be exactly 25 years since the last Hanswijk cavalcade passed through the streets of Mechelen. You can only experience this historical and religious parade, followed by the Mechelen Circumambulation, a few times in your life. What's more, the procession's giant figures have been recognised as part of the world heritage by UNESCO. The Hanswijk cavalcade will take place on Sunday 25 August and 1 September 2013.

The Hanswijk cavalcade forms the climax of the Hanswijk jubilee festivities. For a whole year – from October 2012 to October 2013 – there will be festivities in Mechelen as part of the overall event.

Historical and religious scenes

The Hanswijk procession has passed through the streets of Mechelen since 1273. On the day of the procession, the old city centre becomes the backdrop to a unique and colourful spectacle in which hundreds of volunteers depict historical and religious scenes in authentic costumes. Canon Etienne Van Billoen: "The Hanswijk procession is a festive sequence of scenes depicting the past history of the city on the Dijle. Spectators get to see how the dukes of Burgundy presided over the period in which Mechelen flourished, learn about the childhood of Charles V and gaze in admiration at the original attire of seventeenth-century city-dwellers. In addition, the procession lends colour to well-known religious scenes from the Old and New Testament."

Festival for all the people of Mechelen

Since 1738, the Hanswijk procession has also celebrated its jubilee every twenty-five years. This last happened in 1988, which also marked the millennium of the cult of Mary in Mechelen. 2013 will be a special year for the people of Mechelen. From October 2012 to October 2013, a variety of events are scheduled as part of the twelfth Hanswijk jubilee festivities. The climax of the year, however, will be the Hanswijk cavalcade, a historical and religious parade followed by the Mechelen Circumambulation. This imposing parade, featuring numerous horses and floats, will pass through the streets of Mechelen on 25 August and 1 September 2013. Mayor Bart Somers has called on the people of Mechelen to be actively involved in these festivities: "Most people from Mechelen can only experience this three times in their life. It's a unique opportunity for associations and individuals from Mechelen to take part."

Practical details

The Hanswijk cavalcade processes through the streets of Mechelen on Sunday 25 August and 1 September in 2013.

Associations and individuals from Mechelen can play an active part in the festivities. To do so, contact:

Frieda Van Vaeck
Tel.: 015 420 140