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 It has been a long journey for the festival to go from hate and fear to love and adoration. Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium (Photo by cirdub/Creative Commos via Wikimedia). Amid a concert of trumpet music and the carillon of bells, the jester climbed to the top of the belfry tower to throw the toy cats into the crowd below. Back in those days many cultures believed … 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'. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and … Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. Ypres isn't all about medieval splendour, and monuments to the tragedy of war. Detail from 'Kattenstoet '09 Ieper' by GeS (Ypres still has a triennial festival called the Kattenstoet, but they throw feline stuffed animals.) I first stumbled across the Kattenstoet website in 2013 when researching the history of the cat in medieval times. 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. The origins of the misconception. 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. In Ypres in Belgium, it was the custom to hurl cats from the belfry of local churches and then set them on fire during the festival of cats or Kattenstoet. killing of the time. 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 … The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. The Kattenstoet is a triennial parade and festival held on the second Sunday in May. The event, called Kattenstoet (Festival of Cats), still takes place every year on May 2, though it now involves stuffed animals only. August. Your piece is inaccurate on many points. Ypres was a city known for cloth making with the cloth stored in the cities tower ready for their annual fair. About Us. Creative Commons Attribution. For example, 79 medieval cats were mysteriously slain in Cambridge, England, by the townsfolk in the 13th century. 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. Reply. The festival has grown to be a 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. They march through the town watched by large crowds of people, both locals and tourists, who turn out to cheer on the cats. This barbaric practice continued for centuries – from at least 1410 to the last ritual killing in 1817. The city was a strategic position during the first World War, so much of the city was destroyed. In the parade itself many people dress as cats or witches, and during the celebrations the Medieval superstitions are mocked by the burning of a dummy 'witch'. If you want to attend the next Cat Festival you can start planning now. My story with Belgium begins with Hercules Poirot. The Kattenstoet (Festival of the Cats) is held every three years on the second Sunday of May; the next is scheduled for 2015. ... required a drive to the isolated Sint-Sixtus Monastery, the only place that sold it. Anima: The Brussels Animation Film Festival. The festival is one devoted to the cat but with a sinister backdrop. The reasons for expanding the parade include the rebuilding of the city and creating tourism to help create a new economy for the area. 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. Kattenstoet: The Festival Of Cats In Belgium (Photo by Zeisterre/Creative Commons via Wikimedia). 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. In the 1930s cats were again thrown from the bell-tower in Ypres. They were not just put down, but taken to the local church and hurled from the bell tower. In Ypres in Belgium, it was the custom to hurl cats from the belfry of local churches and then set them on fire during the festival of cats or Kattenstoet. Cat-burning This medieval French entertainment involved cats suspended over wood pyres, set in wicker cages, or strung from maypoles and then set alight. These days it is soft plush cats that are tossed to the crowd below, perhaps mocking the awful brutality that is now thankfully left to the past. I first stumbled across the Kattenstoet website in 2013 when researching the history of the cat in medieval times. grand celebration of cats. During the festival, shop windows fill with cat-themed decorations and toys, and almost every foodstuff imaginable is sold in cat-shape. 13 . It is held every third year on the second Sunday of May.Most recently, the 44th edition took place on May 10, 2015, with the 45th expecting to take place on May 13, 2018. The Festival is for 5 days and 5 nights in March each year beginning … While the decree did not specifically say that all black cats were diabolical, the decree was bad news for dark cats. Joshua J. The parade was suspended during the years of World War II when the city of Ypres was all but leveled by the fighting, but resumed again in 1946. In fact the city has a website dedicated to the Kattenstoet which can be found here. You know, small-town sh*t. 9. At the moment, the best place in Belgium to be a cat might be Ypres, where every three years a large folkloric parade is held in the animal’s honor. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. The parade now boasts bands, marchers and dancers dressed as cats and mice, and giant cat effigies. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. No, it's also about throwing cats off the roof of the town's towers. 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! I heard about the Cat Parade shortly after I moved here in 2009. What “historical references” would be able to show this alleged “cat massacre” did not take place? Ypres, Brussels. 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. How To Give A Kitty Massage -- The Animal Video Of The Day!!! For the last sixty years, the city of Ypres in Belgium has held a popular “Cat Parade” that draws visitors from around the country. Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. The next Festival will take place in 2024. Though, really, they were dealing with a cat infestation and decided to make it an excuse to drink. Purr-n-Fur UK | The Ypres Cat Festival, or Kattenstoet. Mark says: November 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm. 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. 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. At this time the church was also keen on having humans burned at the stake for any signs of heresy, and having a black cat was a pretty good sign of heresy. 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. Both the wool and the finished cloth were stored in 'Cloth Halls', where, given Medieval standards of sanitation, the product rapidly became infested with mice. They marched from the city hall to the belfry. Though, thankfully, these days the real-live hissing cats have been replaced by stuffed versions of the same. It became a full-fledged event in the 1950s as it grew to include 1500 people. The origins of the misconception. Cats in Fables, Fairytales and Festivals. 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