Hakendover horse procession attracts 25,000 spectators

The Easter Monday horse procession in the Flemish village of Hakendover attracted around 25,000 visitors on Monday. The traditional procession takes place every year, culminating in a fertility ritual involving several hundred horse riders.

Every year, thousands of people visit the hills of Hakendover, a village with a population of around 1,500, to watch the horse procession. The procession tells the story of the founding of the local church, which dates back to 690 and led to Hakendover becoming a place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. 

The procession, which starts at 11.00 on Easter Monday, is characterised by the riders galloping across the fields. Legend has it that they do this to ensure fertile land for the farmers. The procession was officially recognised as intangible heritage by Flemish Culture minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) in 2022.

According to Katrien Partyka (CD&V), mayor of the neighbouring city of Tienen, the attraction of the event is the combination of tradition and history, the spectacle of the horses' galloping and the atmosphere. "Like last year, we can call it a top edition," she says. "During the Covid-19 years, the procession had to be cancelled, but people still come in large numbers. We've even seen more people than before the pandemic."


#FlandersNewsService | Galloping horses during the horse procession in Hakendover © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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