Of course you could follow Belgium’s national day celebrations on the TV from the comfort of your armchair. But there’s no way it can compare to being part of the festivities in the capital! So, come to Brussels and join the party!
You could also start early on 20 July, with a concert by the National Orchestra of Belgium in BOZAR, or something more popular: the National ball in the Marolles district. On the eve of the national holiday, place du Jeu de Balle - the beating heart of this popular Brussels neighbourhood – hosts no frills and no fuss festivities full of enthusiasm, humour and music that go on into the small hours of the morning.
Mass and festivities
The Belgian Royal family kick off the National day the following morning with mass in Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula, with the public beginning their celebrations from 10 am. From the Palace of Justice to in front of Parliament there will be a whole host of activities and entertainment.
The impressive traditional parade of the armed forces, police and emergency services takes place in the morning, with the aircraft flyover as a highlight.
Fanfare and mussels with chips
Feeling peckish? Then wander down to place du Jeu de Balle after 6 pm for some mussels and chips. This traditional Belgian dish will be accompanied by brass band music, majorettes and accordions. Later that evening you can dance the night away at the “bal musette” musical ball.
Meanwhile, the party shows no signs of petering-out at the Royal Palace, with entertainment late into the night, before a great musical firework display signals the end of an unforgettable day that you’ll be glad you didn’t follow on TV.