Carnival in Stavelot

One of eastern Wallonia's most celebrated pageants, Laetare is one of the last festivals in Belgium's busy Lenten calendar, and is held three Sundays before Easter. The stars of the show are the eerie 'Blancs Moussis', who wear distinctive masks like sneering, blank-eyed Pinocchios.

These disguises reputedly date back to the 16th century when the prince-abbot forbade local monks from taking part in the town's festivities.