- Starts: 14/12/2019 12:00 am
- Ends: 14/12/2019 12:00 am
Organised by the Town of Bastogne, the commemoration is a patriotic procession that brings together veterans, brotherhoods, dignitaries, students, Belgian and American military platoons, and veterans and includes the laying of two wreaths (at the Patton and McAuliffe monuments). The ‘Jet de Noix’ (throwing of the nuts) from the balcony of the Town Hall brings the commemoration to a close.
This Bastogne tradition is linked to one important moment in history.
In December 1944, General McAuliffe, Commander of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, was defending the besieged town during the Battle of the Bulge. He famously replied ‘Nuts’ to the Germans when petitioned by them to surrender on 22nd December 1944. Chance had it that General McAuliffe’s exclamation of Nuts fell just at the time when, traditionally, Bastogne was celebrating the Walnut Fair before the war. After the war, folklore and military history came together in this celebration.
That is why, every year in December, during the commemorations of the siege of the town, the Mayor, accompanied by Belgian and foreign dignitaries, throw nuts to the public from the balcony of the Town Hall.
Free admission. The departure of the parade is planned at 2 pm.