{Wallonia} The Namur en Mai festival

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An explorer, riding a giant dodo walked right passed me. I just had the time to click the button on my camera and he was gone… In the distance, I could see a troll entering a bistrot. Earlier a cowboy had asked me whether I wanted to dance and a man wearing giant balloon hat saluted me. This wasn’t a wild dream but Namur en Mai, a fantastic festival celebrating street entertainment. The street lamps had been turned into blooms, dragonflies were suspended in the air: it felt as if a magical Instagram filter had been applied to the city.

 

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Here and there, at the corner of a street, in courtyards, on squares, you would find funky orchestras and actors playing little scenes. A grass band, their trumpets decorated with ivy. Musical acrobats adding a fun twist to circus acts. Amazing entertainers making adults feel like children again and children forget their video games. You could feel a wave of happiness all around Namur, a harmony, even. There were laughs, applause and encores… Most of the shows were free, the artists being paid “au chapeau”, the public throwing a few coins in their hat at the end of the performance. There was so much creativity, so much magic everyone contributed cheerfully, occasionally adding a few words, shaking hands.

 

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This atmosphere bohemian simply was exquisite. Kids loved it, posing in a Western scene with their parents, weaving ribbons on a giant frame, riding wooden horses on a vintage fun fair ride, throwing balls on painted targets, dancing around totems. I saw a child bring a paper flower to a ballerina as a thank you, a little boy pretending to play ball with a mime, a toddler dancing in circles to the music of a jazz band, another daring to go all the way to a guitar and play a few random notes, lighting up with pure delight.  I saw bubbles being blown in the air, mini scooters racing, 3 scoops ice creams being devoured but no sign of an app, no tablet out. This fairy tale world replaced the parallel digital one beautifully…

 

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Namur, without doubt, knows how to have fun… There is so much happening throughout the year: Chambres avec vue (an artistic trail), mind-wowing flower installations, a fight for golden stints, a day celebrating folkloric traditions and even a competition to elect the king of liars. Trust it to amaze you at every single visit!

 

Namur en mai
More information on Amazing Wallonia

 

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