Festival of Giants

Gayant the giant is the symbol of Douai. Each year for three days at the beginning of July, the Gayant festival (Les Fêtes de Gayant) takes place. Gayant is registered with the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity like member of Giants and processional dragons of Belgium and France.

Basic information

The Gayant family, composed of the giant’s wife Marie Cagenon and their three children, Jacquot, Fillon and Binbin, are carried through the city. On Sunday the largest procession starts from the town hall.

Across Europe, you find festivals with historical roots that run so deep they seem to twine around a medieval mindset that feels a little out of place within the modern context of the contemporary European Union. As these carnivals go, the Festival of Giants is one of the most spectacular and visually grand.

Douai is a small city in the Hauts-de-France region of France, known for its belfry. Hauts-de-France was created in 2016 by merging Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy.

Douai Railway Station (map) is located quite close to the historical centre of the city. There is a direct train from Lille which takes about 40 minutes.

Lille (map) – the capital of the region is a handsome ex-industrial city with vibrant culture and lots of students.

+ More info: WikipediaWikivoyageUNESCO

Must to See & Do


City of Paris

Bordeaux city

City of Bordeaux


City of Nice


Louvre Museum

All our articles about France


The coach companies compete with rail on price, which means they usually are somewhat cheaper than trains, sometimes much cheaper, especially if booked in advance. Trains will be more comfortable and sometimes much faster.

Evéole + Arc en Ciel 2 – public transport.

Getting to France (uk.france.fr)

sobus.travel — sells bus tickets for all the bus companies.

OuibusIsilinesFlixBusEurolinesMegabus >> (*Intercity buses in France)

Trains are a great way to get around in France. For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter.sncf.com. You can get from pretty much anywhere to anywhere else by train.

For long distances, use the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or High-speed train) on which reservations are obligatory. TGVThelloOuigo. + RailEurope • EurostarThalysizy (Paris-Brussels) • TGV Lyria (Switzerland) • DB (Germany) • RENFE (Barcelona) >> *Rail travel in France

Several weekends throughout the year in France are known as ‘Black Saturday’ (Samedi noir) because of the start or end of school holidays and the coinciding traffic jams on French roads caused by thousands of tourists travelling to and from their holiday destinations. When possible it is wise to avoid these days. For traffic reports, see the website of the French traffic service.

⇒ Driving in France (wikivoyage)

aeroport.fr – list of airports in France. / parisaeroport.fr – Paris airport information.

Brittany FerriesP&O FerriesDFDS Seaways

England ⇔ France:

  • P&O Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Calais.
  • DFDS Seaways – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Dunkirk.
  • LD Lines – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Le Havre.
  • Brittany Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg, andSt Malo, from Poole to Cherbourg and from Plymouth to Roscoff.
  • Condor Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, Poole to St Malo and Weymouth to St Malo.

Ireland ⇔ France:

  • Brittany Ferries – operate ferry services from Cork to Roscoff.
  • Celtic Link Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
  • Irish Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and from Rosslare to Roscoff.

Video source: Ville de Douai

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.