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Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Belgium

Bruges, Belgium
Bruges' cobbled squares promise a festive atmosphere nearly year-round.
  • 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


January 1:  New Year's Day (closures)

February–early April:  Carnival season on various weekends in different French-speaking cities; particularly lively and bizarre in towns of Binche and Stavelot

February 21–March 1:  Anima international animation film festival, Brussels

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

April 10–April 13:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Monday; closures on Easter Monday)

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 16:  Zinneke Parade, Brussels (procession with music, dance, and floats, but no combustion engines)

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

May 21:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

May 22–24 (likely):  Brussels Jazz Weekend (free concerts around town)

May 31–June 1:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

June 7:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

Mid-June (11 days):  Brussels International Film Festival

June 20–21:  Battle of Waterloo Reenactment, Waterloo

July 1 & 3:  Ommegang Pageant, Brussels (historic costumed parade to Grand Place)

July 2–5:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

July 17–26 (likely):  Ghent Festival (free concerts, fireworks, street performers, market)

July 17–19 & 24–26 (likely):  Tomorrowland, north of Brussels in town of Boom (electronic music festival)

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

July 10–12:  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

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

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

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

August 13–16:  Brussels Flower Carpet

August 12–16 (likely):  Brussels Summer Festival (concerts, street performers)

August 13–16:  Brussels Flower Carpet

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

August 20–23:  Pukkelpop, near Hasselt in northeast Belgium (progressive music festival)

August 22–23 (likely):  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)