Manneken Pis Celebration

October 10th, 2010

I interrupt the telling of my trip to Slovenia to relate our recent Manneken Pis Day here in Brussels.  Every year, the cyclo club I joined, the Cyclo Woluwe St Lambert or CWL, celebrates the most famous statue in Brussels.  We did so again on Saturday, my first opportunity to take part in this unique event.  More about the club at  I am hoping that there will be more pictures there as I could not take any of the whole group.

It was a beautiful day and I was dressed for action, the first time I was wearing the club colours as I had only obtained my new jersey the week before.

We gathered at the usual starting point – Stade Fallon – at 8:30, quite early for a week-end.

Everybody is wearing his club colours.  There are a lot more people than usually on Sundays.  This is good.  We even have guests from Bouillon (in Belgium) and Meudon (in France), two clubs with which the CWL had events this years.

And we are off.  About 50 cyclists meander through the outer communes of Brussels on the way to the Grand Place.  It is quite a crowd waiting for the light on Avenue de Tervuren.

Waiting for another light near the Cinquantenaire built to celebrate Belgium’s 50th anniversary of independence.

And we made it to the Grand Place, bathed in the early sunshine.  First contact with tourists who are wondering what is going on.  This is also where we are met by those who decided not to ride and so the group is getting bigger.

The president of the club, on the right, is clearly happy with the level of participation.  Lysiane, on the left, is the leader of the group that I have been riding with. 

This is also where we meet the band that will accompany us for the rest of the morning.

They lead the way as we walk (pushing bicycles) along the Rue de l’Etuve towards the main beneficiary of this gathering …

Quite a sight – we still have to follow the rules of the road!

Belgium has had a tradition of “Bandes Dessinees”  for many years (the English translation of Comic Strips is not quite correct, so a good example is Tintin that is just one of many from the past) and in many places in Brussels, there are huge murals celebrating the most famous characters.  We walked pass one such mural on Rue de l’Etuve.

and we finally arrived at our destination.  Manneken Pis is wearing our club colours from this special occasion.

This is the 14th such event.  The club donated the jersey and shorts he is wearing 13 years ago.

He has a huge wardrobe, by the way, which you can visit at the Musee du Roi on the Grand Place.  That is also where the original statue is located.  This is only a copy – a necessity due to vandalism and student pranks in the past.

We sang the club song first, than the song of Manneken Pis

and finally the song of the local Brussels beer

By that time everybody was thirsty, so out came the beer glasses – kriek in this case.

Most interesting to me was the reaction of tourists during this whole event.  A Japanese woman came to me at pointed at Manneken Pis than my jersey saying “same?” so I explained to her what was going on … I will have my picture in quite a few more tourist albums after this.

Looking behind the crowd, you can tell how we came here.  There are 10’s of 1000’s euros worth of bicycles there! Not the bicycles you typically see attached to a light or sign post.

The spirits were high.  We even did a little bit of dancing.

But it was soon time to move on to the next stop, a local bar for, of course, “one for the road”.  As you can see, we bring our own supply just in case the bar runs out.

It was a great day!

(1679 Page Views)

One Response to “Manneken Pis Celebration”

  1. David Ingon 29 Oct 2010 at 23:19

    Pierre, when we were in Brussels, you hadn’t mentioned the Mannekin Pis at the fountain is a copy. That makes sense to keep the original safe.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply