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Festivals


Centuries of tradition make for great festivals. Belgium is home to hundreds of festivals, pageants and carnivals throughout the year. In fact, it would be difficult to find a time in Belgium when there isn't some kind of organized revelry taking place whether it be themed on music, art, film or exuberant historic processions that have taken place yearly since medieval times. A few are simple, but most are elaborate, with old customs re-enacted and locals dressed in ornate costumes. At the end of the day, however, they're all about having a great time. Below are a few Festival Highlights that take place throughout Belgium. For more detailed information on these events check out our page.

 

Festival Highlights

Ommegang Festival - Brussels

Take a seat on the tiered stands or lean on the low barriers and find yourself transported to 1549. Every year in July, the lavish Ommegang procession commemorates the tribute paid to Emperor Charles V and his VIP guests. Richly-colored costumes, horses, embroidered banners, flag throwing and stilt jousting - this big event inevitably ends in general jubilation all around the Grand Place.

Carnival de Binche - Binche

For 3 days in February the town of Binche is transported back to the 16th century for a fantastic festival. Highlighted by music parades and fireworks, the climax of this event is when the Gilles appear on the Grand Place and throw oranges to the spectators. This infamous festivity has been classified by UNESCO along with its renowned Gilles.

binche festival

Stavelot (Mid-lent Carnival) - Stavelot

This spectacular event takes place in March and is highlighted by the Blanc Moussi, which means ‘clad in white.’ Beginning on Sunday, the Blancs Moussis wander the streets of the town putting up their irreverent posters. In the afternoon they step out from the cortège while staying on their floats and shower the crowds with confetti while flogging them with pork bladders.

Zinneke Parade - Brussels

The Zinneke parade, also known as Big Z-Day, has been appearing biennially on the streets of Brussels since the year 2000. It is a street opera of music, choreography, costumes and floats - all done without combustion engines or deafening music.