Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Belgium

  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates at the festival’s website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism sites for Belgium and Brussels.
  • This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout Belgium. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn’t a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals across Europe

2014

December:  “Winter Wonders” Christmas Market in Brussels

December 25:  Christmas (closures)

2015

January 1:  New Year’s Day (closures)

February–March:  Carnival season on various weekends in different French-speaking cities; particularly lively and bizarre in towns of Binche (February 15–17) and Stavelot (March 14–16)

February 13–22:  Anima international animation film festival, Brussels

March:  Ars Musica, Brussels (contemporary music festival)

April 3–6:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Monday; closures on Easter Monday)

April 7–19:  Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (series of cult films)

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 14:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

May 16:  Belgian Pride, Brussels (LGBT pride parade)

May 24–25:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

Late May (3 days):  Brussels Jazz Marathon (free concerts around town)

May 31:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

June 5–12:  Brussels Film Festival

June 18:  200th anniversary of Battle of Waterloo (battle will be reenacted in Waterloo June 19)

June 25–28:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

June 30–July 2 (likely):  Ommegang Pageant, Brussels (historic costumed parade to Grand Place)

July 11–13 (likely):  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

Mid–late July (10 days):  Ghent Festival (free concerts, fireworks, street performers, market)

July 21:  Belgian Independence Day (parades, fireworks, closures)

July 23–26:  Sfinks Mixed, near Antwerp (world music, free)

July 24–August 6:  Moods, Bruges (eclectic concert series, with some free performances)

July 31–August 9:  Musica Antiqua Festival, Bruges (medieval music)

August 14–23:  Brussels Summer Festival (concerts, street performers)

August 15:  Assumption Day (procession in Bruges, Bathtub Regatta in Dinant, southern Belgium; closures across Belgium)

August 20–22:  Pukkelpop, near Hasselt in northeast Belgium (progressive music festival)

August 23:  La Ducasse in Ath, southwestern Belgium (traditional procession featuring giant puppets)

October 13–24:  Ghent Film Festival

November 1:  All Saints’ Day (closures)

November 11:  Armistice Day (closures)

December:  “Winter Wonders” Christmas Market, Brussels

December 5–6:  St. Nicholas’ Eve and St. Nicholas’ Day (processions celebrating the arrival of Sinterklaas and presents for children)

December 25:  Christmas (closures)