Great success for the 2021 Meyboom plantation

16/08/2021

The 713th Meyboom plantation took place on the eve of St. Lawrence's Day (9 August) in accordance with tradition. This is the first major event authorised by the City of Brussels since lockdown, which is natural since this tradition, which dates back to 1213, is probably the oldest in the city; it celebrates a victory of the people of Brussels over the city of Leuven.

 

This colourful parade, which bears a tree, accompanied by a brass band, giants, Poepedroegers (the giants and their carriers) and several folk groups (around 20 this year), sets off from the Grand-Place at 1.30 pm and winds its way through the streets of the capital. To be successful, the procession must succeed in planting the famous Meyboom, the tree of joy, before 5 pm at the corner of Rue des Sables and Rue du Marais. To do this, we can trust the enthusiasm of the valiant Bûûmdroegers (tree bearers), who have previously chosen a beech tree and cut it down in the Forêt de Soignes. This year they again succeeded in their mission amid the cheers of the 1,500 folklore lovers, from Brussels or elsewhere, who came to support them. 

 

Their tenacity is of the utmost importance, because if the tree is not planted by 5 pm, the beer tax privilege is transferred to Leuven. The Gardevils (police officers escorting the procession) and the Buumdroegers therefore do everything possible to protect the tree from Louvanists on the look-out. But this has never happened since 1213 and the event has been celebrated as it should be until late at night.

Inscribed as 'Processional giants and dragons in Belgium and France', the Meyboom was recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.