Tens of thousands of people have hit the streets of the Belgium capital Brussels for the bi-annual ‘Zinneke Parade’.
Running since 2000, this year’s event, which ran under the theme of ‘fragility’, had extra poignancy following the coordinated bomb attacks on the city n March.
“Today is really symbolic. There’s a lot of emotion. Just two months after the attacks people are beginning to breathe. We really want to share a good moment together,’‘ said one reveler.
“We were all discussing if we go or not to participate in the parade, but we didn’t want to think about it and we just came here to do what we wanted to do,” said another woman party goer.
“It’s a huge gathering where all the people of Brussels can party. In relation to the attacks, it’s an occasion to go out, as we have already done, and to take to the streets and show that they are ours,’‘ another man said.
Business in Brussels has been badly hit since the attacks, with revenues reportedly down as much as 60 percent, but there was a carnival atmosphere as the city showed it was slowly getting back on its feet.
From Brussels, Euronews correspondent
Arianna Sgammotta said: ‘‘The spontaneous memorial for the victims of the Brussels bomb attacks, here in La Bourse, the commercial area of the city, was removed a few days ago. Today’s parade is another sign that the city is trying to move on. On Sunday an official ceremony will be held at the Royal Palace to pay tribute those the victims killed at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro, as well as the 18 people who still remain in hospital.’‘