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Many of us are familiar with UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. But did you know the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also works to preserve intangible cultural heritage, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events?

If you’d care to experience such a UNESCO-recognized event, head to Mons, Belgium, the setting for Le Doudou Procession and the Lumeçon on Sunday. The origins of the procession are traced to 1349, when an outbreak of the plague was stopped, attributed to the intervention of St. Waudru.

A parade of more than 1,000 marchers in historical costume sets off from the city’s Hotel de Ville at 9:15 a.m. An ornate golden carriage transporting the relics of the saint brings up the rear. At 12:30 p.m., a crowd gathers in the square to the sound of the “Doudou,” a song specific to this festival, to watch the Lumeçon, in which St. George on horseback fights and slays a dragon. Read more at

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