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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 25–March 6:  Anima international animation film festival, Brussels

March 29–April 10:  Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (series of cult films)

April 15–18:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Monday; closures on Easter Monday)

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 14:  Zinneke Parade, Brussels (procession with music, dance, and floats, but no combustion engines)

May 21:  Belgian Pride, Brussels (LGBT pride parade)

May 26:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

May 27–29:  Brussels Jazz Weekend (free concerts around town)

June 5 & 6:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

June 12:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

June 18–19:  Battle of Waterloo Reenactment, Waterloo

June 23–July 2:  Brussels International Film Festival

June 29 & July 1:  Ommegang Pageant, Brussels (historic costumed parade to Grand Place)

June 30–July 3:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

July 8–10:  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

July 15–24:  Ghent Festival (free concerts, fireworks, street performers, market)

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

July 22–24 & 29–31:  Tomorrowland, north of Brussels in town of Boom (electronic music festival)

July 28–31:  Sfinks Mixed, near Antwerp (world music, free)

July 29–August 11:  Moods, Bruges (eclectic concert series, with some free performances)

August 5–14:  Musica Antiqua Festival, Bruges (medieval music)

August 11–15:  Brussels Flower Carpet

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

August 18–21:  Pukkelpop, near Hasselt in northeast Belgium (progressive music festival)

August 18–22:  Brussels Summer Festival (concerts, street performers)

August 26–28:  La Ducasse in Ath, southwestern Belgium (traditional procession featuring giant puppets)

October 11–22:  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)