Rooted in tradition and interwoven with popular legends, the Nord's town giants were deemed "un-Catholic" by the Church and abolished by the revolutionary authorities, but to this day they stand tall and protect their towns and cities.
These gigantic figures are born, grow up, marry, raise families and die just like ordinary mortals.
Borne aloft on the shoulders of one or more persons, the giants, now awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, put in an appearance at town fairs, carnivals, street markets, processions and other celebrations.
For a host of different festivals and festive occasions there are appearances by the famous Gayant family in Douai (2nd weekend in July), Reuze Papa and Reuze Maman in Cassel (the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday and also Easter Monday), Martin and Martine in Cambrai (15th of August), Binbin in Valenciennes (end of August), Bimberlot in Le Quesnoy (last weekend in July), Gargantua in Bailleul (Shrove Tuesday and the preceding weekend), Raoul in Godewaersvelde ....
Two benchmark sites on the Giants :