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


October 10–21:  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)


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 23–March 3:  Anima international animation film festival, Brussels

March 29–April 1:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Monday; closures on Easter Monday)

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

May 1:  Labor Day (some closures)

May 9:  Ascension (closures); Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges

May 19 & 20:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

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

May 24–26 (likely):  Brussels Jazz Weekend (free concerts around town)

May 26:  Ducasse de Mons, south-central Belgium (procession, enactment of battle between St. George and the dragon)

June 15–16 (likely):  Battle of Waterloo Reenactment, Waterloo

June 25–July 3 (likely):  Brussels International Film Festival

June 25:  Zinneke Parade, Brussels (procession with music, dance, and floats, but no combustion engines)

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

July 4–7:  Rock Werchter, near Leuven (huge pop and rock festival)

July 12–14:  Cactus Festival, Bruges (alternative pop and rock in Minnewater)

July 12–21 (likely):  Ghent Festival (free concerts, fireworks, street performers, market)

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

July 19–21 & 26–28 (likely):  Tomorrowland, north of Brussels in town of Boom (electronic music festival)

July 25–28:  Sfinks Mixed, near Antwerp (world music, free)

August 2–11 (likely):  Musica Antiqua Festival, Bruges (medieval music)

August 15–19(likely):  Brussels Flower Carpet

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

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

August 23–September 6 (likely):  La Ducasse in Ath, southwestern Belgium (traditional procession featuring giant puppets)