Ros Beiaard Dendermonde

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Ros Beiaardommegang 1975 in Dendermonde with the brothers De Jonghe.
Ros Beiaardommegang 2000 in Dendermonde with the brothers Coppieters.
Ros Beiaardommegang 2010 in Dendermonde with the brothers Van Damme.
Statue of the Ros Beiaard

Ros Beiaard of Dendermonde is a folkloristic horse of big dimensions. It differs from the other Ros-Beiaard horses because it is used only once every ten years and because the horse is carried by people. The Ros Beiaard is on UNESCO's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The legend of Ros Beiaard[edit]

't Peird van Dendermonde[edit]

The Ros Beiaard of Dendermonde is carried through the town every ten years by a guild of bearers, called the 'Pijnders'. In keeping with the legend, four young brothers from Dendermonde (de Vier Heemskinderen) wearing full armour sit astride the horse. The legend of Ros Beiaard is acted out during the procession.

Dimensions and weight[edit]

From the ground to the tallest part of the head, the Ros Beiaard is 4.85m high. If one adds the decorations on top, then the horse is 5.8m high. From nose to tail, the Ros is 5.2m long and the width is exactly 2m. The head of the Ros Beiaard is made out of oak wood and it is 120 cm long and 50 cm wide. The horse weighs 800 kg without the brothers on top. The wooden frame has three spaces and has space for 12 bearers or 'Pijnders'.

The four 'Heemskinderen'[edit]

Every ten years, the selection of the four 'Heemskinderen' is difficult. The criteria are severe:

  • It has to be four consecutive brothers, without a girl in between.
  • They all have to be born in Dendermonde.
  • The parents and grandparents have to be born in Dendermonde.
  • They have to be between 7 and 21 years old on the day of the procession.
  • They have to live in Dendermonde or one of its suburbs.

19th century[edit]

In 1807, the Ros was ridden by Pieter-Emmanuel, Pieter-Frans, Pieter-Jan and Bernard-Jozef Blomme. The horse was used to celebrate the birthday of Napoleon I and the Concordate.

In 1850 the brothers were Edmond, Désiré, Henri and Lodewijk Spanogh. The procession celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Court and the Academy of Arts. The historian David Lindanus was also commemorated and king Leopold II attended the procession.

The inauguration of the statue of Pater De Smet in 1878 entailed a new procession and the knights were Isidoor, Omer, Petrus and Frans Willems. They also celebrated the inauguration of the new lock in the Dender.

When Polydore de Keyser, Lord Mayor of London, visited his birth town Dendermonde in 1888, the Heemskinderen were Henri, Lodewijk, Gustaaf and Alfons Pieters.

In 1899, the Ros Beiaard was ridden by Pieter, Adhemar, Lucinthe and Leo Dieltjens. They celebrated a new bridge over the Scheldt.

20th century[edit]

In 1914, the knights were Jan, Leo, Pieter and Edward De Bruyn. The celebration was the appointment of Leo Bruynincx as mayor of Dendermonde.

In 1930, Dendermonde celebrated the centenary of the Belgian independence and the Horse was ridden by Henri, Jean, Pierre and Albert Van Damme.

In 1952, Jozef, Rafaël, Pieter and Jan Bombay were the knights. The town hall existed for 500 years and this was celebrated.

In 1958, because of the World's Fair in Brussels, the brothers Emiel, Albert, Jozef and Luc Leybaert rode the Ros.

In 1975 the brothers Dirk, Wim, Boudewijn and Kris De Jonghe rode the Horse.

In 1990 the honour befell the brothers Veldeman.

In 2000 the brothers Roy, Nick, Ken and Dean Coppieters rode the Ros.

21st century[edit]

In 2010 the procession was held in May and the Van Damme brothers rode the horse.[1]

The Pijnders[edit]

The guild of the Pijnders originated in the 14th century and had the monopoly on loading and unloading ships and cellars with wine and beer. Today, the Pijnders are the only persons allowed to carry the Ros Beiaard in the processions.

The task of the Pijnders must not be underestimated, as they occupy a main function in the procession in carrying the horse. The movements of the horse have to be synchronized with the directions of the director. The Pijnders are divided into three groups consisting each of twelve carriers. Every group has its leader who has to set the pace and order the special movements.

The Hymn[edit]

The legend is told in the city hymn of Dendermonde. The hymn also refers to the rivalry with the neighbor city of Aalst who purportedly envy the Dendermonde for its horse.

The Ros Beiaard hymn

't Ros Beiaard doet zijn ronde
In de stad van Dendermonde
Die van Aalst die zijn zo kwaad
omdat hier 't Ros Beiaard gaat.
De vier Aymons kinderen jent
Met blanke zweerd in d'hand
Ziet ze rijden
't Zijn de schoonsten van ons land

't Ros Beiaards ogen fonk'len
Zijne brede manen kronk'len
En hij wendt hem fraai en vlug
Met vier broers op zijnen rug.

Hun harnas, schild en lansen
blinken bij de zonneglanzen
En den beiaard 't voisken geeft
daar het Ros zijn eer in heeft.

O Dendermondenaren
Blijft altijd den roem bewaren
Van het peerd zo wijd vermaard
Als den grootsten man op aard.

't Ros Beiaard is ons glorie
en benijdt g' ons die victorie
Aelst, gij hebt nog min verstand
als ons ridder ros vaillant.

't Ros Beiaard is verheven
heeft zich in het vuur begeven
en het week op 't oorlogsveld
alles voor zijn groot geweld.

External links[edit]