Since then the event has been expanded into a parade and full-scale festival which happens once every three years. Your piece is inaccurate on many points. During the festival, shop windows fill with cat-themed decorations and toys, and almost every foodstuff imaginable is sold in cat-shape. With screenings of more than 300 different animation movies from around the world, Anima is the place to be for fans of animation films and cartoons. In Tokyo there’s a law forbidding pets in rented apartments, which explains the phenomenon of the cat cafe, where cat lovers can get their neko fix anytime. It became a full-fledged event in the 1950s as it grew to include 1500 people. Kattenstoet (which I wrote about more in-depth last year), is the (in)famous Belgian Cat Festival that occurs every three years on the second Sunday of May in the city of Ypres. As Big Ben struck midnight on NYE, and people focused on their new year’s resolutions, I had but one thing on my mind and that was my long awaited trip in May … Kattenstoet is a Festival of Cats that takes place every three years on the second Sunday in May in Ypres, Belgium. August. A good example of this was in the city of Ypres in Belgium. Once upon a time, being a cat in Ypres on the second week of Lent equaled certain death. The world needs more cat celebrations. The parade was suspended during the years of World War II when the city of Ypres was all but leveled by the fighting, but resumed again in 1946. The unusual gathering was borne out of the cruel medieval practice of throwing cats off of a bell tower, but in modern times has transformed into a spectacle celebrating cat culture through the ages. People in medieval Ypres, Belgium, had a festival called Kattenstoet where they’d throw cats from the belfry tower to symbolize the killing of evil spirits. A street where people passed by everyday suddenly became a place for people to connect and meet. Mark says: November 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm. 2. Copyright © 2013-20. This cruel practice continued until 1817 although the Kattenstoet continues to this day- involving stuffed cats instead. A mock witch burning also remains as a part of the festivities. In fact the city has a website dedicated to the Kattenstoet which can be found here. However, a peculiar part of the activities, the flinging of plush cats from the city’s bell tower, hints at the festival ’s less feline-friendly origins. Kattenstoet (which I wrote about more in-depth last year), is the (in)famous Belgian Cat Festival that occurs every three years on the second Sunday of May in the city of Ypres. Back in those days many cultures believed … I first stumbled across the Kattenstoet website in 2013 when researching the history of the cat in medieval times. The Middle Ages were not kind to cats. Your use of this site is deemed to be your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use and Site Disclosures and our Privacy Policy. The Kattenstoet, Festival of the Cats, is a parade in Ypres, Belgium, devoted to the cat. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. In the 1930s cats were again thrown from the bell-tower in Ypres. Detail from 'Kattenstoet '09 Ieper' by GeS Ypres was a city known for cloth making with the cloth stored in the cities tower ready for their annual fair. In Ypres in Belgium, it was the custom to hurl cats from the belfry of local churches and then set them on fire during the festival of cats or Kattenstoet. Back in those days many cultures believed cats to I’m open to suggestions. If you do make it to Flanders, the museum In Flanders Field is a must-see. However, perhaps to prove that the the council had no satanic intentions behind this pest-control measure, once the cloth was sold, the cats were killed. People in medieval Ypres, Belgium, had a festival called Kattenstoet where they’d throw cats from the belfry tower to symbolize the killing of evil spirits. A local archivist saw the very last cat to be thrown off the tower. It is held every third year on the second Sunday of May.Most recently, the 44th edition took place on May 10, 2015, with the 45th expecting to take place on May 13, 2018. In the hotel, they welcomed me with a smile and pastries. Creative Commons Attribution. Next parade 2018 ... Pictures: 1. Cats in Fables, Fairytales and Festivals. The history of the festival dates back into the Middle Ages and the horror of cat torture and killing of the time. These days it is soft plush cats that are tossed to the crowd below, perhaps mocking the awful brutality that is now thankfully left to the past. The next Festival will take place in 2024. Thereafter the ceremony dropped into obscurity, celebrated only by the ringing of the bells on 'Cat Wednesday'. The unusual gathering was borne out of the cruel medieval practice of throwing cats off of a bell tower, but in modern times has transformed into a spectacle celebrating cat culture through the ages. This was based on how live cats were once thrown from the bell tower during the Middle Ages. The Edmonton Cat Festival in Alberta, Canada. Despite setbacks caused by war and recessions, Cat's Wednesday is now a well-established event which celebrates cats rather than killing them. All this cat love has resulted in some strangely charming places where travelers can stop to pay tribute. As Big Ben struck midnight on NYE, and people focused on their new year’s resolutions, I had but one thing on my mind and that was my long awaited trip in May to the Kattenstoet (Festival of The Cats) in Ypres, Belgium. But now the cats were soft plastic toys thrown as part of an expanded city festival which also featured a 'Cat's race' in the morning by competitors on bicycles. ABOVE: Photograph of the Kattenstoet in Ypres, Belgium in the late 1950s. If one chooses to ignore the history of this festival, though, Kattenstoet is a good place to celebrate everything cat related – from giant cat floats to people dressed up as colorful felines. (Ypres still has a triennial festival called the Kattenstoet, but they throw feline stuffed animals.) In Ypres, Belgium, for instance, townspeople hurled cats from a belfry onto the cobble streets below and then set them on fire. ABOVE: Photograph of the Kattenstoet in Ypres, Belgium in the late 1950s. They marched from the bell tower cat to be a grand celebration of that... Marchers and dancers dressed as cats and mice, and monuments to the tower boasts. Is from 2006 ; the next cat festival you can start planning now less than a years... 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