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

2018

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)

2019

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

March 1–10:  Anima international animation film festival, Brussels

April 9–21:  Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (series of cult films)

April 19–April 22:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Monday; closures on Easter Monday)

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 18:  Belgian Pride, Brussels (LGBT pride parade)

Late May (weekend):  Brussels Jazz Weekend (free concerts around town)

May 30:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

June 9–10:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

June 16:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

Mid-June (11 days):  Brussels Film Festival

June 22–23 (likely):  Battle of Waterloo Reenactment, Waterloo

June 26 & 28:  Ommegang Pageant, Brussels (historic costumed parade to Grand Place)

June 27–30:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

July 5–7:  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

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

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

Late July (2 weekends):  Tomorrowland, north of Brussels in town of Boom (electronic music festival)

Late July (4 days):  Sfinks Mixed, near Antwerp (world music, free)

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

Early August (10 days):  Musica Antiqua Festival, Bruges (medieval music)

August 13–17 (likely):  Brussels Summer Festival (concerts, street performers)

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

August 14–17 (likely):  Pukkelpop, near Hasselt in northeast Belgium (progressive music festival)

August 24–25:  La Ducasse in Ath, southwestern Belgium (traditional procession featuring giant puppets)

October 8–18:  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)