Saint-V recognised as intangible heritage?


A central part of Brussels student folklore, combining commemorations and "guindailles" (festive student activities), Saint-Verhaegen or Saint-V celebrates the official opening of the Free University of Brussels (ULB) on 20 November 1834 under the aegis of Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, Venerable Master of the Lodge "Les Amis Philanthropes" and Auguste Baron. Immediately, this date was decreed a public holiday, but the first real events only appeared with the creation of the Union des Anciens Etudiants/ Association of Former Students (UAE) in 1843. On this day, they organised encounters between former ULB students in the bistros of Brussels. The day ended with a banquet.

In 2017, about 300 students took part in the morning commemorations, in particular the laying of flowers on Théodore Verhaegen's grave in Brussels cemetery and the gathering on Square Groupe G at the Solbosch campus to pay tribute to this group of Second World War resistance fighters from the University. In the afternoon, some 6,000 students from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) took part in the Saint-Verhaegen procession, this year placed under the theme of solidarity with migrants.

The Brussels VUB Student Society (BSG), the Saint-V Committee and the Centre for Cultural Heritage, Historical Knowledge and Central Archives (CAVA) has submitted an application for the Saint-Verhaegen festivities to be listed as intangible heritage, announced the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The application was submitted to the Culture, Youth, Sport and Media department of the Flemish Community.