Eight and a half metres high and weighing 370 kilos… Mr Gayant is a giant amongst giants!
With his wife, Marie Cagenon, and their three children, Jacquot, Fillon and Binbin, these are the figureheads of an incredible parade which, for almost half a millennium, has been the pride of Douaisians. In 1479, thanks to the protection of Saint Maurand, Douai repelled the French royal troops who had come to conquer the town, which was then under the control of the Count of Flanders. Since then, an annual procession celebrates this victory. The pair of giants first appeared in 1530 and have never ceased to draw crowds ever since. In 2004, the Gayant (‘giant’ in the Picardy patois) festivals were even classified as part of the intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO !