Thousands of people try to grab hairs of the dragon, which supposedly brings luck, during the battle known as Lumeçon May 27, 2018 in Mons, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Christophe Morel)

Mons celebrates ‘Doudou’ after hiatus

By Luca Scarfalloto, USAG Benelux Public Affairs

MONS, Belgium – From June 8 to 19, 2022, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in the Ducasse de Mons, or “Doudou,” a popular annual event that takes place in Mons, Belgium. This is the first time the event has taken place since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNESCO recognized Doudou in 2005 as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity." The most anticipated part of the event will be “Trinity Weekend,” during which the public will pay tribute to St. Waudru (or Waltrude), the patron saint of the city, and will participate in a battle known as the Lumeçon.

On the evening of June 11, starting at 8 p.m., there will be a ceremony in the Collegiate Church, called La Descente de la châsse de sainte Waudru, during which the dean of the church will entrust the relics of St. Waudru to the city’s mayor. At the end of the ceremony, all participants will sing the song of the Doudou. A torchlight procession, called la Retraite aux Flambeaux, will start at 10 p.m. from Rue de Nimy and proceed to the Grand Place.

On June 12, the traditional procession, called la Procession du Car d’Or, will start at 9:30 a.m. from the Collegiate Church, followed by la Montée du Car d’Or at noon during which festival-goers will push the carriage to make it climb the hill of St. Waudru.

At 12:30 p.m., St. George will fight the dragon on the Grand Place during the Lumeçon. He will be accompanied by other individuals performing various roles, including the Devils, the Chin-chins, the men in white, the leaf men, the firemen and the policemen. The combat will last about a half hour, accompanied by the sounds of the Doudou music. During the fight, thousands of people will try to grab hair from the dragon’s tail, because it supposedly brings good luck. At the end of the Lumeçon, after a few attempts, St. George will finally kill the dragon with a pistol shot, and the bells of Mons will start playing. The festivities will continue with musical entertainment.

Excitement gradually grows throughout Trinity Weekend. On June 10, there will be the opening concert at 9 p.m. during which Antoine Delie, Ykons, Black M and Charlie Winston will be performing.

On June 13, after the Trinity Weekend, there will be the third Doudou Sound Party on the Grand Place. DJ Joss Mendosah (featuring Milisax Performer), Maeva Carter and Mosimann are the DJs who will perform.

Fireworks take place June 14 at 10:45 p.m. on the Grand Place.

Free parking will be available at the Grand Large (with free shuttles), Lotto Mons Expo (with free shuttles), in the parking at Saint-Fiacre (at the intersection of Chaussée du Roeulx and Chaussée de Binche), in the Parking Damoiseaux, in Pont Rouge-Avenue des Guérites, at the Place Nervienne, and at the Mons train station.

Please remember that some parking areas will close at night.

Safety devices and barricades will be set up throughout the city to ensure the safety of everyone and allow the festivities to run smoothly.

The impacted streets will be:

  • The bottom of Rue du Miroir
  • Rue Verte/Nimy
  • Rue de la Biche/Belneux
  • Grand-rue/Capucins
  • Grand-rue/Blancs Mouchons
  • Rue de Nimy/Grand Jour
  • Rue de Nimy
  • The bottom of Rue d’Havré
  • Rue Samson/Terre du Prince
  • Rue Tour Auberon/Debonnaire
  • Rue de la Halle (after the parking area entrance)
  • Square Roosevelt/Chapitre
  • Boulevard Gendebien
  • Boulevard Charles Quint
  • Debonnaire/Sars
  • Rue de Houdain/Halle
  • Rue du Hautbois
  • Rue des Marcottes/Nimy
  • Rue de la Réunion/Chapitre
  • Rue de la Terre du Prince/Samson
  • Rue Antoine Clesse/Nimy
  • Rue des Tuileries/Nimy
  • 4 Fils Aymon/Nimy
  • Rue Peine Perdue/Havré
  • Rue des Epingliers/Hautbois
  • Rue des Groseillers/Havré
  • Rue de la Grande Triperie/Petite Triperie
  • Rue Notre Dame (beyond parking area entrance)
  • Rue Jean Lescarts/Hautbois
  • Rue Bervoets/ND Debonnaire

If you attend the event, please remain vigilant and maintain situational awareness at all times.