Beliefs, traditions and celebrations a festival make... and Belgium, especially the city of Brussels plays host to lots of festivals and carnivals each year so the spirit of happy living stays alive and their ancient traditions are carried forward to the next generation. Whenever you visit Belgium, you will find people celebrating some festival or another. These can include music festivals, film festivals, arts & crafts festivals or celebrations of ancient traditions and ceremonies. Most of these events are intricate with bright costumes and dramatic processions.
Ommegang Festival ( Visit Site )
The Ommegang Festival holds a very important position in Belgium's historic and cultural events and is held in honour of Charles V and his son Philip. The festival has been celebrated since 1549 on the first Thursday of every July where more than 1,400 participants wearing costumes with horses, crossbows, antique weapons, carts and giants. The procession or 'walk about' is held at the Place du Grand Sablon where the spectators can watch the spectacular event along with respected dignitaries of Belgium including the Royal Family.
Address: Rue des Tanneurs, 180, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 5121961
Zinneke Parade ( Visit Site )
Since the millennium year of 2000, when the Zinneke Parade started, it has become the craziest festival of Brussels. Held every second year, its a cultural movement held by the citizens, schools and artists of Brussels and they celebrate it by carrying out a modern, innovative and creative parade. Everyone dons multi-coloured costumes and each year the parade revolves around themes like "Zinnergy", "The Body in the City", etc.
Address: Rue de la Caserne - Kazernestraat 37, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 2142007
Brussels on Stage
You will be for a wonderful surprise when you visit the basements of the chambers of Galerie de la Reine. Brussels on Stage exhibition show is an event in itself because it's a once in lifetime experience that you get to discover the city's vibrant past and rich cultural tradition. For 2 hours you will be mesmerised as you get a free tour of discovering Mannekin Pis, mussels, pralines, Saint-Michel, trams of Brussels, comic strips, etc. Every feature is covered, be it Art, History, Food or Culture.
Address: Galerie de la Reine 17, near the Grand Place, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Tel.: +32 2 5020973, +32 2 5022150
Iris Day ( Visit Site )
The Iris flower is the symbol of Brussels city and the Iris Day is celebrated in Spring to celebrate incoming of the lively season by hosting live music and street performances, and an open-day at the Brussels Parliament (where everyone gets to see the working of Parliament). The wonderful street artists and performers will entertain you the whole of Sunday, in the month of May, making it the most memorable month in Brussels.
Address: 14, Grand Place, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 5515470, +32 2 5515476
The Meyboom is a traditional festival in Brussels and has been carried out for a historical number of years wherein, a May tree is erected at the cross section of two roads, namely "rue du Marais" and "rue des Sables". This happens specifically on the 9th of August which is Saint-Laurent's eve by the Brotherhood of Saint-Laurent's Companions and that too before 5:00 pm. A procession parades through the streets, where fun and frolic hand in hand, enjoy the company of brass bands, 7 giant puppets and some lovely music. It has been 700 long years that this tradition has been sincerely followed by the Belgians to save the city from the curse of the Leuvens.
Address: Place du Grand Sablon, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 2173943
Brussels Christmas Market ( Wikipedia )
As Christmas arrives, Brussels gears up and arranges its annual Christmas market with a long queue of festive stalls extending from the Bourse Stock Exchange to the Marché aux Poissons fish market and till the Place Sainte Catherine. It consists of a fair, a market and a place where the young ones, their parents and the whole family can enjoy. There are jugglers and musicians to entertain you, various food stalls to keep your taste buds tingling and knick knack shops selling both antiques and new products. If you love ice skating then slide across the rink at the Marché aux Poissons fish market.
Address: Brussels, Belgium
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday to Sunday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Tel.: +32 2 5040390
Brussels Antiques and Fine Art Fair ( Visit Site )
Every year in January, The Royal Chamber of Belgian Antiques arranges Brussels's largest antique fair at the Tour & Taxis district of Brussels. Antique connoisseurs, buyers and lovers all gather at this unique fair where one can get to watch a large and rare collection of antique artefacts, jewellery and decorative items. If you are a genuine and serious antique buyer, then this fair is worth a visit and the most trusted one in the world.
Address: 86C Avenue du Port 1000, Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 5134831
Brussels Book Fair ( Visit Site )
If you are a book worm and love to dive your nose into books, then the Brussels Book Fair is a must visit for a you. An annual event held every February, around 1,100 publishers display their newest and top selling collections at the fair. Famous authors of these books, personally attend this event to autograph their collections. Debates, conferences, workshops and seminars featuring recently published titles and articles, are held at the fair.
Address: 86C Avenue du Port 1000, Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium
Opening Hours: 10 am to 7 pm
Tel.: +32 2 5134831
Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival ( Visit Site )
This festival is for those movie goers who love creepy, horror films. If you are not fainthearted and love seeing morbid faces, then visiting this festival will give you a once in a lifetime chance of viewing the year's best and scariest horror films. A number of screenings and films are held around all the cinema theaters in the city along with competitions and theatrical events.
Address: Havenlaan 86c Avenue du Port, Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 900 87900
Art Brussels ( Visit Site )
The Art Brussels is held every year in the summer seasons of April at the Brussels Expo where the art show has a long standing tradition of showcasing the best quality, genuine artworks. Held since 1968, the art show encompasses 150 separate galleries visited each year by nearly 32,000 art lovers and collectors.
Address: Brussels Expo (Heysel), Place de Belgique 1, 1020 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 7401021
Held in November every year, at the Brussels Expo, The World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technologies is such a long name, that it is more commonly known as the Innova Fair. Almost 40 countries from around the world, more than 800 participants and 1200 plus inventions when combined together put on an intelligent exhibition of science and technology. Many known researchers, patent bodies and inventors come together for this event to bring forward some of the most interesting as well as the craziest inventions.
Address: Parc des Expositions - Heysel 1020, Brussels, Belgium
Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tel.: +32 2 8084174
Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition
( Wikipedia )
The Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition is a very respected and prestigious annual event in Brussels which is attended by many music dignitaries and lovers. There are a variety of violin, piano and singing performances by International and Belgian artists who are themselves judged by highly respected juries comprising of acclaimed performers and music teachers of international fame. Those who win, get a chance of launching their music career, both in Belgium and internationally in the form of live performances and recordings. The venue of the competition is mainly at Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. If you are visiting Belgium during June, you can get to watch the finale on Belgian national television and radio.
Address: 20, Rue aux Laines 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 2134050
Design September ( Visit Site )
First started in 2006, Design September is a month when contemporary designers arrange events in and around Brussels to showcase their working styles and how each of their products are designed, worked upon and how they finally reach the hands of their targeted customers. From 8th September to 30th September Urban Discovery circuit let participants discover little known squares and places in Brussels which they could have missed during their regular tour. During the days of 11th, 18th and 25th September, known as the Bleu Nights, participants visit the famous Dominican hotel and have a talk with several celebrity designers over a drink or two.
Address: Rue Rodenbach, 70, 1190 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 3493595, +32 6453468