Every year, no less than 20,000 to 40,000 visitors from neighbouring regions (Nord-pas-de Calais, Meuse, Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg...) come to share the warm atmosphere of this event.
If in the Pointe des Ardennes, November 11 evokes the Onion Fair even before the anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War, Givetois and inhabitants of the region probably do not know the origin of the name of this event of incomparable popularity.
A page of history. In January 1617, Archdukes Albert and Isabelle established a fair reserved for their most distant subjects from the steps of the Empire.
Closer to home, documents from the old regime mention three fairs in Givet: in spring, on St. Louis Day and on St. Martin's Day.
During the Revolution, the central administration of the Ardennes in the year VI fixed the dates at 13 brumaire, 26 floréal and 9 fructidor. 500 head of cattle were then "exposed" on the fair.
But it is since the Empire that this November fair has been known as the "Onion Fair", a name that smells like the land.
Engaged in the harsh Polish campaign, Napoleon still found time to look into the affairs of the city of Givet.
From his imperial district to Posen, on December 12, 1806, eight days before his entry into Warsaw, Napoleon issued a decree setting the dates of the fairs in Givet, and more particularly that of Saint-Martin which had become an onion fair.
With five hundred head of cattle brought from Belgium notwithstanding customs obstacles, the Onion Fair was the most lively and active in an entire region.
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