Saturday, September 18, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in Belgium

EuropeBelgiumFestivals & Holidays in Belgium

Holidays in Belgium

DateHolidays
1 JanuaryNew Year’s Day
Monday after EasterEaster Monday
1 MayLabour Day
39 days after EasterAscension
Monday after WhitsunWhit Monday
21 JulyBelgian National Day
15 AugustAssumption Day
1 NovemberAll Saints’ Day
11 NovemberThe day of the ceasefire
25 DecemberChristmas

Furthermore, the same legal text designates all Sundays as public holidays (this is why Easter and Pentecost, which always fall on a Sunday, are “celebrated” by extending the holiday from Sunday to the next day), but shops are free to choose another day of the week as a “weekly closing day” if they wish; they must then declare what that day is near the shop entrance: in French “Jour de fermeture hebdomadaire: <name of day en français>” and/or in Dutch “Wekelijke rustdag: <name of day en néerlandais>”.

As in 2008, when Labour Day and Ascension Day both fell on 1 May, employers had to declare an additional holiday on a different day of the month. 2 May had been proclaimed as the official day for this holiday, but in response to complaints from several industries, the government decided that the holiday could be placed on any date. In any case, most employers seem to have decided to keep 2 May as the date.

11 November is not observed by the European institutions, they are operational on that day. Instead, the European institutions observe Europe Day (Schuman Day) on 9 May.

Special days in Belgium that are not official holidays

DateHolidays
6 JanuaryEpiphany
14 FebruaryValentine’s Day
8 MayIris Day (Brussels only)
11 JulyFlemish Community Day
27 SeptemberFrench Community Day
Third Sunday in SeptemberWalloon Region Day
31 OctoberHalloween
2 NovemberThe Day of All Souls
15 NovemberKing’s Day
6 DecemberSt. Nicholas

The days of the three municipalities are public holidays for their officials and for employees of the institutions they control, supervise or finance (e.g. municipalities, universities) and may also be observed by the banks of the respective municipality. King’s Day is a public holiday observed by all administrations (i.e. federal, municipal or regional, provincial and local), including the schools they organise.