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

April 3–15:  Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (series of cult films)

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 5:  Belgian Pride, Brussels (LGBT pride parade)

May 10:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

May 12:  Zinneke Parade, Brussels (procession with music, dance, and floats, but no combustion engines)

May 13:  Kattenstoet, Ypres (cat parade)

May 20–21:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

May 25–27:  Brussels Jazz Weekend (free concerts around town)

May 27:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

June 16–26:  Brussels Film Festival

June 23–24:  Battle of Waterloo Reenactment, Waterloo

July 4 & 6:  Ommegang Pageant, Brussels (historic costumed parade to Grand Place)

July 5–8:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

July 13–15:  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

July 13–22:  Ghent Festival (free concerts, fireworks, street performers, market)

July 20–22 & 27–29:  Tomorrowland, north of Brussels in town of Boom (electronic music festival)

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

July 26–29 (likely):  Sfinks Mixed, near Antwerp (world music, free)

July 27–August 9:  Moods, Bruges (eclectic concert series, with some free performances)

August 3–12:  Musica Antiqua Festival, Bruges (medieval music)

August 14–18:  Brussels Summer Festival (concerts, street performers)

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

August 15–18:  Pukkelpop, near Hasselt in northeast Belgium (progressive music festival)

August 16–19:  Brussels Flower Carpet

August 25–26:  La Ducasse in Ath, southwestern Belgium (traditional procession featuring giant puppets)

Mid-October (11 days):  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)

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