Among the activities of the Laetare at the BM, the one of the poster collectors always raises amusement and questions.
Armed with brushes, glue and ladders, they put small ironic and incisive texts on the facades, windows and panels. These posters use many forms of wordplay and tell of misadventures and anecdotes experienced by Stavelotans over the past year.
This tradition, almost unique in the history of folklore (a similar one can only be found at the Basel Carnival), is one of the great traditions of the procession.
Where does this custom come from ? Is it old ?
It certainly dates from before the 14-18 war. We can also think that the poster is the heir of the street theater and the “roles”. Due to a lack of actors or sufficient texts, the authors have adapted the practice towards a display of the theme instead of acting.
Like the origin of the Blanc-Moussi, the origin of the poster is difficult to determine with certainty. What is certain, however, is that this humorous tradition was taken up by the Blancs-Moussis in the first post-war Laetare.
These posters are the result of a secret editorial committee that meets several times in the pre-Laetare period.
” Each member is responsible for compiling all the anecdotes and adventures that come to mind during the year. We then try to find the appropriate phrase or pun to humorously sting the intended person. “
Once the text has been validated, the posters pass through the expert hands of the editor who transcribes it onto the back of a piece of wallpaper.
The team of gluers then goes into action in the early hours of Laetare Sunday.
” If in general, the reception of the person ” posted ” is rather good, we have already had some less positive reactions (laughter). On average, we put up about 200 posters each year. We start a 1st round at the edge of the city to reserve the posters to stick on the route of the procession during this one .