October, pumpkin month

12 Oct 2020

The Municipality of Kasterlee in the Kempen region of Antwerp has a rich pumpkin tradition. Pumpkins are eaten there, and the subject of competitions... and even used as boats once a year. Welcome to the Kasterlee Pumpkin Regatta!

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The Pumpkin Society of Kasterlee has been organising the Annual Pumpkin Regatta in association with the local kayak club since 2008. Pumpkin regattas have been taking place in the US, Germany and England for quite some time already, but this is the only one of its kind in Belgium. The idea is simple: all teams are comprised of four people who each need to paddle 100 metres from point A to point B individually as fast as possible. What’s the catch? Your vessel is no normal boat – it’s an oversized, hollowed-out, orange fruit provided by the Pumpkin Society’s growers.

The youthful sailors in this short film bear witness to the complexity of pumpkin paddling: there’s not much room to sit down, the stability of hollowed-out pumpkins sometimes leaves something to be desired, and you run the risk of not getting anywhere or even falling into the water. Fortunately, however, the main aim is for it to be a fun and playful activity.

This reportage was created by content partner RTV, the regional television broadcaster for Kempen and Mechelen. The clip from 2009 shows people from Flanders and Kempen as real ‘bon vivants’ who love good food, feasts, fun and folk traditions. RTV submitted this short film for De Beeldcapsule 2017 (The Image Capsule), and we regularly showcase gems like this on our website.

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