The Gayant Giants
The Gayant family only come out once a year
Consult our interview with Fabien Pichard who shares his passion for the job he truly cares about – his work as a giant carrier.
the Great Procession in the afternoon. The Gayant family only come out once a year, so don't miss out on the opportunity to come and meet them. It is a popular event with children and adults alike and the opportunity for the whole town, together with tourists from France and abroad, to take part in the street banquet, Binbin Festival, and Great Procession – for a unique and wholly different experience.
- 1530 Monsieur Gayant first appeared
It was at the procession in honour of Saint-Maurand, Douai’s patron saint, that Monsieur Gayant made his first appearance. His wicker framework was made by the Corporation of Basket makers, and he was immediately adopted as the town's emblem.
- 1531 Meets Marie Cagenon
Monsieur Gayant felt a bit lonely, and so the good people of Douai introduced him to a pretty young giant called Marie Cagenon. It was love at first sight. Madame Gayant has accompanied her husband in all the processions ever since.
- 17ème siècle Birth of their 3 children
Time would appear to be of no matter to our two giants, for it was not until the seventeenth century that they were graced by three children, Jacquot, Fillon, and Binbin. The family was now complete, and went on to enjoy an epic destiny.
- 1801 Rebirth
After disappearing in 1770, on the orders of the bishop of Arras, the family arose once again in 1778, before being laid low a second time in 1792 during the French Revolution. But they arose from their ashes in 1801, and put on the costumes they still wear today.
- 2004 Consecration
The Gayants were placed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Des chiffres à donner le vertige
- Monsieur Gayant 8,50 m. 370 kg. Carried by 6 men
- Madame Gayant, Marie Cagenon 6,25 m. 250 kg. Carried by 6 men
- Jacquot 3,40 m. 80 kg. Carried by a single man
- Fillon 3,15 m. 70 kg. Carried by a single man
- Binbin 2,40 m. 45 kg. Carried by a single man
To find out about the dates and times when the entire family come out, as well as the various events planned to celebrate the occasion, consult the Douai Tourism Office website.
70 Place d'Armes - Douai - Tel: +33 (0)3 27 88 26 79