Parade of the dead, Charles town 1910

A procession in Charles Town, 1910

The Parade of the Dead (in Dutch: Parade van de doden) is a traditional celebration held throughout Southern Hogeberg Island.

Held every year on October 13, it consists of dragging a fake corpse on a horse around town, and then putting it up on a pole and burning it. This is meant to represent the hardships of their dead ancestors, and the burning represents the "liberation" from their pains. This parade has been held since the mid-15th century; during independence the Venetians had killed many people in the region and the local settlers wanted to remember them.

The origin of the festival is said to have begun in Sint-Anders. By 1850 this celebration was taking place in Charles Town, Grunbeck and even Grijzestad. Today this festival is commonplace in the central and southern part of the island.

This parade takes on the look of a funeral, with musicians playing old and slow music. The people wear black costumes with bright designs, to symbolize the grief and relief. This is usually accompanied by a feast in the town square, usually held by the mayor.

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