Bank and public holidays in Belgium: 2017-2018 guide

TransferWise
10.07.18
4 minute read

Belgium is a melting pot of French, German and Flemish people, and that certainly affects the holidays that are celebrated in the country. Some holidays are only celebrated by certain communities within Belgium, which can make it a little confusing to know whether banks and public offices will be closed. There are a number of holidays celebrated in Belgium that change days depending on the year, as well. If a holiday falls on a weekend, generally no weekday time off is given. When they fall on weekdays, though, it’s important to know the local customs surrounding them, like whether banks will be open. Read on to find out everything you need to know about public and bank holidays in Belgium.

National holidays in Belgium

There are 12 national holidays in Belgium each year.

  • Belgian public holidays: 15
  • Belgian bank holidays: 13

Celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in Belgium

Mother’s Day in Belgium is celebrated by some on the second Sunday in May, and by others on August 15th. The week before the day, children make small crafts in school to give to their mothers as gifts first thing in the morning. Fathers will usually pick up croissants or pastries to give to mothers in bed and then mothers are pampered for the rest of the day.

Father’s Day in Belgium is generally recognized on the second Sunday in June but it isn’t celebrated as much as in many other Western countries. Small children might make crafts or small gifts in school to give to their fathers, but beyond that, there isn’t much traditional celebration on Father’s Day.

In Belgium, neither Mother’s Day nor Father’s Day is an official public holiday.

The most important holidays and dates in Belgium

One of the most important and widely celebrated holidays in Belgium is the Belgian National Holiday. While it’s celebrated across the country, the largest celebration by far is held in Brussels, including fireworks, a military parade, live music, street performers and more.

People in Belgium also often celebrate Saint Nicholas Day in addition to Christmas. Families exchange gifts on Christmas, but children often also receive a gift on Saint Nicholas Day.

Due to the mix of cultures that are prevalent in Belgium, there are days of celebration for the Flemish, French and German communities. These are extra days of rest for those communities, and some banks and businesses will be closed. None of these days are considered official public holidays in Belgium.

List of public holidays in Belgium for 2017

HolidayName of holiday in Dutch2017 DateBank holiday?
New Year’s DayNieuwjaarsdag1 January, 2017Yes
EasterEerste paasdag16 April, 2017Yes
Easter MondayEaster Monday17 April, 2017Yes
Labour Day or May DayDag van de Arbeid1 May, 2017Yes
Ascension DayHemelvaartsdag25 May, 2017Yes
Ascension FridayHemelvaart vrijdag26 May, 2017Not a public holiday, but banks are closed
Whit Sunday or Pentecost SundayEerste pinksterdag4 June, 2017Yes
Whit Monday or Pentecost MondayTweede pinksterdag5 June, 2017Yes
Celebration of the Golden Spurs11 July, 2017Sometimes, in the Flemish community
Belgian National DayNationale feestdag van België21 July, 2017Yes
Assumption DayVeronderstelling dag15 August, 2017Yes
French Community Holiday27 September, 2017Sometimes, in the French community
All Saints DayAllerheiligen1 November, 2017Yes
Armistice DayDodenherdenking11 November, 2017Yes
German Community Day15 November, 2017Sometimes, in the German community
Christmas DayEerste kerstdag25 December, 2017Yes

List of public holidays in Belgium for 2018

HolidayName of holiday in Dutch2018 DateBank holiday?
New Year’s DayNieuwjaarsdag1 January, 2018Yes
EasterEerste paasdag1 April, 2018Yes
Easter MondayEaster Monday2 April, 2018Yes
Labour Day or May DayDag van de Arbeid1 May, 2018Yes
Ascension DayHemelvaartsdag10 May, 2018Yes
Ascension FridayHemelvaart vrijdag11 May, 2018Not a public holiday, but banks are closed
Whit Sunday or Pentecost SundayEerste pinksterdag20 May, 2018Yes
Whit Monday or Pentecost MondayTweede pinksterdag21 May, 2018Yes
Celebration of the Golden Spurs11 July, 2018Sometimes, in the Flemish community
Belgian National DayNationale feestdag van België21 July, 2018Yes
Assumption DayVeronderstelling dag15 August, 2018Yes
French Community Holiday27 September, 2018Sometimes, in the French community
All Saints DayAllerheiligen1 November, 2018Yes
Armistice DayDodenherdenking11 November, 2018Yes
German Community Day15 November, 2018Sometimes, in the German community
Christmas DayEerste kerstdag25 December, 2018Yes

List of public holidays in Belgium for 2019

HolidayName of holiday in Dutch2019 DateBank holiday?
New Year’s DayNieuwjaarsdag1 January, 2019Yes
EasterEerste paasdag21 April, 2019Yes
Easter MondayEaster Monday22 April, 2019Yes
Labour Day or May DayDag van de Arbeid1 May, 2019Yes
Ascension DayHemelvaartsdag30 May, 2019Yes
Ascension FridayHemelvaart vrijdag31 May, 2019Not a public holiday, but banks are closed
Whit Sunday or Pentecost SundayEerste pinksterdag9 June, 2019Yes
Whit Monday or Pentecost MondayTweede pinksterdag10 June, 2019Yes
Celebration of the Golden Spurs11 July, 2019Sometimes, in the Flemish community
Belgian National DayNationale feestdag van België21 July, 2019Yes
Assumption DayVeronderstelling dag15 August, 2019Yes
French Community Holiday27 September, 2019Sometimes, in the French community
All Saints DayAllerheiligen1 November, 2019Yes
Armistice DayDodenherdenking11 November, 2019Yes
German Community Day15 November, 2019Sometimes, in the German community
Christmas DayEerste kerstdag25 December, 2019Yes

Sending money home for the holidays in Belgium?

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Knowing Belgium’s holidays and customs means you’re ready to celebrate without the stress of not knowing whether you’ll be caught needing a bank when all of them are closed. Celebrate stress-free like a local in Belgium for a truly memorable time. Happy holidays!

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