The great 8

The great 8

These are local events for inquisitive tourists and families alike

Traditional French bals musettes, American country dancing, festive banquets, poetry-themed and sports-themed WALKING TOURS to be explored on foot, horseback, bicycle or in a pushchair, intriguing shows for surprising venues, hidden heritage and mysterious legends, wellness salons for sound massages and sailors’ tattoos, gardening workshops for children, knitting or genealogy workshops – the Great 8 offers all this and more! These are local events for inquisitive tourists and families alike. With exploration WALKING TOURS, humour, good food and quirky artistic creations, everyone can follow their own personal route through the festivities, alongside the people of Mons. The whole community’s powers of imagination will be in evidence for a whole week, based on eight themes.

Eight weeks of festivities in eight territories in the Greater Mons region, each one featuring its own unique theme.

A big top, a ball, a banquet, artists’ routes, the rediscovery of the hidden history and mysterious legends of the 19 municipalities of Greater Mons: all these events will showcase the local heritage, public buildings, streets and rivers, and forgotten legends. The emphasis will be on travelling on foot, by bicycle or in a pushchair as you discover (or rediscover) a Greater Mons that has been transformed by artists and local people.

From Flénu to Havré, from Maisières to Harveng: The Great 8  planning meetings.

Since March 2013, the Great Eight projects have been designed and shaped by nearly 500 people, who meet on a weekly basis. Together they devise the collective and shared events that will make Mons 2015 happen across Greater Mons.




28.04 > 03.05.2015

Your senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing will come to life as you make your way around reinvented castles and parks. Exhibitions in the dark, readings in a Baroque salon, intimate concerts in the corridors, performances at the foot of a tree, and splendid banquets in the heart of a clearing: the first high point of the Great 8 will have something for all of our senses.


Hyon / Ciply / Mesvin

12.05 > 17.05.15

Sleek, magical, touching, determined… the mythical unicorn will travel through different worlds to the sound of world music or recycled instruments, making its way through a maze of outsized costumes and cartoon images. It is certain to plunge you into a strange, imaginary world of suspended encounters and angels’ voice in the early morning. 



Jemappes / Flénu

11.06 > 14.06.15
During this week, you can expect a story of migration, arrivals and departures and a journey into the past and the future, so take a guided plunge into history, geography, sport or photography. Embark on a journey outside the city, and stop off in 1900, a time of splendour and popular dancing. Don’t miss the bus: next stop mystery! 



Mons Intramuros

21.06 > 27.06.15

The former bed of the River Trouille will be upside-down, reversed, diverted – topsy-turvy. Amid history and fantasy, inside and out, your task will be to discover the unusual sites that have been chosen for exhibitions and events as wide-ranging as Dali and tattooing, a cello trio for two and public banquets for 200 – strange and unique settings. Then the grand finale, the Midsummer’s Eve Bonfire, brings the week to a close.


Place Nervienne / Grand-Place

27.06 > 28.06.15

Since the dawn of time, the world has been divided into three tribes: the water tribe, the land tribe and the air tribe. Despite their different customs, all these tribes worship a single deity: the Sun. Once a year, at the summer solstice, the tribes call a truce, cease all hostilities and proceed to the sacred hill to worship the return of the Sun God. It is there that they find the keepers of the flame, who light a great bonfire at the end of the ancestral ceremony.

The lighting of the bonfire, symbolising the return of spring and the promise of fertility and abundance for the coming year, is a vital ceremony in the life of these tribes. Through a project that brings together a number of associations, the Feux de la Saint-Jean association organises music, children’s activities, a parade ... and a huge bonfire.

Action initiated by the non-profit organisation Feux de la Saint-Jean asbl, specially associated for the occasion with the Great 8.


Obourg / Saint-Denis / Havré

22.08 > 30.08.15

If it hadn’t been for the 1636 text translated from Latin, which tells of a monk who meets a ghost, we would not have discovered, in 2015,  the aquatic mysteries of the most picturesque scenery in Mons. Follow this ghostly trail from the abbey to the mill, and from the castle to the park, on a nocturnal walk by the eerie light of Chinese lanterns, followed by dancing and feasting, and stories of the supernatural that have always been associated with these magical places. 



Harmignies / Spiennes / Villers-Saint Ghislain / Harveng / Nouvelles / Saint-Symphorien

07.09 > 13.09.15

The green lung of Mons will be puffing away all week at wind instruments, wind turbines and kites. Against a backdrop of flint stone and straw, and a soundtrack of children singing and the wind whistling, enjoy an eventful week featuring photography exhibitions, outdoor film screenings, the gentle words of a writer commissioned to write a book on the area, and quadrille dances. Come and immerse yourself in the landscapes to the south of Mons and see which way the wind blows.




23.09 > 27.09.15

From the depths of the mines to the top of the Levant de Mons there is a height difference of 2015 metres! Yodelling, equestrian shows, hiking trails, descents from the Alpine pastures, Swiss cuckoos and high-mountain WALKING TOURS are all on the agenda, reminding us of the fact that during the Ice Age, Mount Héribus and the Levant were part of the Borinage’s own Alpine chain. The mountain theme continues through food, readings and images: humour, hiking boots, ropes and carabiners required.



Nimy / Maisières

07.10 > 11.10.15

Dressed in rags, painted or draped in their finest regalia, scarecrows, giants and puppets will come to life in windows, on balconies, in gardens or in the street. From the busy kitchen to an outdoor exhibition, the city will transform into a fantastic puppet show and shadow theatre, as the Great 8 comes to a close with the grand finale of these eight wacky weeks put together by hundreds of citizens from Mons.