Nature

Parks and forests

Aalst is surrounded by many green areas, but the city centre also boasts a number of large and beautiful parks: “Centrumpark, Koningin Astrid Park, Graanmarkt, Stadspark and Zwembadpark”. Outside of the city you can wander through “Patersbos” (forest) and the many nature reserves of Dendervallei: “Gerstjens, Kluisbos in Overhamme and Kraveelbos in Meldert”.

Pikkeling

The city of Aalst celebrates its agricultural origin with the folkloric harvest festival Pikkeling, recognised by Unesco. A “pikkeling” is a sheaf that is drying on the stubble field. Since 1970, the “Faluintjes” (the formerly independent municipalities of Baardegem, Herdersem, Meldert and Moorsel) bring the agricultural society of the past back to live during this annual festival. Its focus lies on the harvest. All types of past and present agricultural elements are displayed. Activities are arranged in the historical farms in the region.
And there is plenty to taste too. Try the wonderful oven cakes, puddings, Dutch gin and other specialities. You can also go for a walk, watch popinjay and a chaffinch singing contest, feast your eyes on a carpet of flowers and visit exhibitions. The festival is concluded with a large bonfire. Each year the festival is held at a different location in one of the formerly independent municipalities. The exact location is announced well in advance on the website of the organising committee.
Visit the lecavzw.be website for similar authentic festivals.