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.
There are 12 national holidays in Belgium each year.
- Belgian public holidays: 15
- Belgian bank holidays: 13
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.
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.
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Dutch||2017 Date||Bank holiday?|
|New Year’s Day||Nieuwjaarsdag||1 January, 2017||Yes|
|Easter||Eerste paasdag||16 April, 2017||Yes|
|Easter Monday||Easter Monday||17 April, 2017||Yes|
|Labour Day or May Day||Dag van de Arbeid||1 May, 2017||Yes|
|Ascension Day||Hemelvaartsdag||25 May, 2017||Yes|
|Ascension Friday||Hemelvaart vrijdag||26 May, 2017||Not a public holiday, but banks are closed|
|Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday||Eerste pinksterdag||4 June, 2017||Yes|
|Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday||Tweede pinksterdag||5 June, 2017||Yes|
|Celebration of the Golden Spurs||11 July, 2017||Sometimes, in the Flemish community|
|Belgian National Day||Nationale feestdag van België||21 July, 2017||Yes|
|Assumption Day||Veronderstelling dag||15 August, 2017||Yes|
|French Community Holiday||27 September, 2017||Sometimes, in the French community|
|All Saints Day||Allerheiligen||1 November, 2017||Yes|
|Armistice Day||Dodenherdenking||11 November, 2017||Yes|
|German Community Day||15 November, 2017||Sometimes, in the German community|
|Christmas Day||Eerste kerstdag||25 December, 2017||Yes|
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Dutch||2018 Date||Bank holiday?|
|New Year’s Day||Nieuwjaarsdag||1 January, 2018||Yes|
|Easter||Eerste paasdag||1 April, 2018||Yes|
|Easter Monday||Easter Monday||2 April, 2018||Yes|
|Labour Day or May Day||Dag van de Arbeid||1 May, 2018||Yes|
|Ascension Day||Hemelvaartsdag||10 May, 2018||Yes|
|Ascension Friday||Hemelvaart vrijdag||11 May, 2018||Not a public holiday, but banks are closed|
|Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday||Eerste pinksterdag||20 May, 2018||Yes|
|Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday||Tweede pinksterdag||21 May, 2018||Yes|
|Celebration of the Golden Spurs||11 July, 2018||Sometimes, in the Flemish community|
|Belgian National Day||Nationale feestdag van België||21 July, 2018||Yes|
|Assumption Day||Veronderstelling dag||15 August, 2018||Yes|
|French Community Holiday||27 September, 2018||Sometimes, in the French community|
|All Saints Day||Allerheiligen||1 November, 2018||Yes|
|Armistice Day||Dodenherdenking||11 November, 2018||Yes|
|German Community Day||15 November, 2018||Sometimes, in the German community|
|Christmas Day||Eerste kerstdag||25 December, 2018||Yes|
|Holiday||Name of holiday in Dutch||2019 Date||Bank holiday?|
|New Year’s Day||Nieuwjaarsdag||1 January, 2019||Yes|
|Easter||Eerste paasdag||21 April, 2019||Yes|
|Easter Monday||Easter Monday||22 April, 2019||Yes|
|Labour Day or May Day||Dag van de Arbeid||1 May, 2019||Yes|
|Ascension Day||Hemelvaartsdag||30 May, 2019||Yes|
|Ascension Friday||Hemelvaart vrijdag||31 May, 2019||Not a public holiday, but banks are closed|
|Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday||Eerste pinksterdag||9 June, 2019||Yes|
|Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday||Tweede pinksterdag||10 June, 2019||Yes|
|Celebration of the Golden Spurs||11 July, 2019||Sometimes, in the Flemish community|
|Belgian National Day||Nationale feestdag van België||21 July, 2019||Yes|
|Assumption Day||Veronderstelling dag||15 August, 2019||Yes|
|French Community Holiday||27 September, 2019||Sometimes, in the French community|
|All Saints Day||Allerheiligen||1 November, 2019||Yes|
|Armistice Day||Dodenherdenking||11 November, 2019||Yes|
|German Community Day||15 November, 2019||Sometimes, in the German community|
|Christmas Day||Eerste kerstdag||25 December, 2019||Yes|
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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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