Zinneke Parade

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Colourful participants playing musical instruments on the Grand Place in the 2010 parade

The Zinneke Parade is a biennial parade held in the city of Brussels, Belgium since 2000; a different theme is chosen for each parade. 'Zinneke' is a nickname chosen to represent people from Brussels. The word originally referred to city stray dogs which hung around the streets by the Little Zenne (a tangent canal of the river Zenne which ran round Brussels along the city walls) until the end of the 19th century.[1]

The parade was established with the aim of connecting the many different cultures, communities and districts within Brussels. The director of the Zinneke association, Myriam Stoffen, has talked about the desire to 'build bridges' between these parts of the city.[1] The organisers of the parade aim to work with a large variety of institutions, schools, cultural centres, organisations and societies.[2] Residents work together with professional artists[1] to create the ideas and prepare the projects which eventually make up the parade.

A human-powered vehicle in the 2010 parade

A characteristic of the parade which distinguishes it from many other parades or carnivals is that it is described as being "100% human" - music is performed live, without amplification, and there are no motorised vehicles.[3]


In 2008 over 7000 people were involved with the parade,[2] with 2500 of these appearing in the parade itself.[1] The Zinneke Parade was watched by 60,000 spectators in 2006.[1]

The 2010 theme was "A table / Aan tafel" ("Have a meal" or "Come to the Table!") and was held in May.[4]

In 2010, the parade was accompanied by a group of puppeteers from Belgium, Ireland, Italy and France who performed in a number of balconies overlooking the route of the parade.[3] The participants in the parade formed about 25 'zinnodes', groups of around 100 people each, which started from four squares in the city: Fontainasplein, Sint-Katelijne, the Albertinaplein and the Spanjeplein; then meet along the way.[3]

The 2012 Zinneke Parade took place on 19 May 2012, under the theme "Désordre / Wanorde" ("Disorder"). It was viewable from 22 locations round the centre of the city of Brussels, starting at 3pm from the Grand Place.[5] [6]

The 2016 Zinneke Parade, with the theme Fragil ('Fragile') took place on 21 May 2016.

Themes by Year
Date Theme Ref
2000 May 27 La Ville [7]
2002 May 25 Les Zinnergies [8]
2004 May 24 Le Corps dans la Ville [9]
2006 May 13 Toekomst à venir [10]
2008 May 31 EAU [11]
2010 May 22 A table. Aan tafel [12]
2012 May 19 Désordre. Wanorde
2014 May 10 Tentation / Bekoring
2016 May 21 Fragil

Parade Images[edit]

Zinneke Parade 2004


  1. ^ a b c d e "Interview met Myriam Stoffen, directrice Zinneke" (in Dutch). 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Interview Myriam Stoffen, directrice Zinneke Parade" (in Dutch). indymedia.be. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Lindemans, Katrien (19 May 2010). "Zinneke Parade". Flanders Today. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Zinneke Parade 2010". The Belgian Tourist Office. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Xavier, Cassiopea asbl - graphisme Pttl. Voir page mentions. "Infos Pratiques : Zinneke Parade 19-05-2012 - Zinneke". zinneke.org. 
  6. ^ Michel van Reysen (2011-05-20). "Expo over thema Zinneke Parade 2012: 'Wanorde'" (in Dutch). DeWereldMorgen.be. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Zinneke parade 2000". zinneke.org. 
  8. ^ "Parade zinneke - 25 mai 2002". zinneke.org. 
  9. ^ "Zinneke Parade :: Participer : Deelnemen :: Participate :: Zinneke international unlimited". zinneke.org. 
  10. ^ "Zinneke Parade 2006". zinneke.org. 
  11. ^ "ZINNEKE 2008". zinneke.org. 
  12. ^ MatLa, ACTIC asbl - XavPei, Cassiopea asbl - graphisme Maiam . Voir page mentions. "Phase d'évaluation - Zinneke". zinneke.org. 

External links[edit]