Manneken-Pis spends about half of the year in one of his 1,000 outfits.
This tradition of dressing is truly unique in the world.
Don’t worry, all will be revealed!
Where do all these outfits come from?
The tradition of dressing the statue dates back at least to the 17th century.
In the past, the Brussels authorities or the governors general donated outfits for particular festivities. Back then, only a few outfits were in the collection.
Following the First World War, many donors came forward with an outfit, including veterans’ associations. Between 1919 and 1940, Manneken-Pis received one new outfit each year.
After World War II, the ketje‘s wardrobe grew on average by five to fifteen outfits per year. And by the 1980s, the number of costumes rose to twenty-five.
Today, around 20 to 30 new outfits are added on an annual basis.
These outfits are an integral part of the heritage of the City of Brussels. Each item is inventoried and preserved like a work of art.
Once an agreement has been reached and the outfit has been designed, it is officially handed over to the city authorities, during a ceremony at the Town Hall. An inauguration ceremony takes place at the fountain and the Manneken-Pis is dressed in his new outfit.
At the end of the day, the new outfit is placed in the wardrobe.
Dressing Manneken-Pis is no easy feat!
Since 1945, a pattern has been used to make a new sewing pattern. It includes instructions on the materials to use and the pitfalls to avoid.
Donors can contact the official seamstress or choose a seamstress of their choice but, above all, they must respect the boss.