Belgium, a country known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and delectable chocolates, also boasts a vibrant and diverse festival scene. The Festival of Belgium is a kaleidoscope of cultural events, traditional festivals, music and dance extravaganzas, national celebrations, and delightful food and beer festivals.
Belgium takes pride in preserving its age-old traditions; several festivals pay homage to its cultural roots. The country has a thriving music and dance scene, and its festivals are a testament to its love for rhythm and movement. It also takes its national celebrations seriously, marked by pomp, pageantry, and strong patriotism. Belgium's culinary heritage is as rich as its cultural history, and its beer and food festivals are a testament to this gastronomic excellence.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you on a captivating journey through the heart of Belgium's festival calendar, highlighting 15 of the best festivals you should consider attending.
Belgium's cultural tapestry is woven with the threads of history, art, and tradition, and its festivals provide a vivid reflection of this heritage. Let's dive into some of the most enchanting cultural festivals that Belgium has to offer.
The Ghent Festival, Gentse Feesten, is a vibrant showcase of Belgian cultural events. Held in July, it transforms Ghent into a lively hub of activity. This traditional festival is a part of the Brussels festival calendar and is one of the standout traditional festivals in Belgium. It features an eclectic mix of street performances, live music, theatre, and a carnival atmosphere that brings people from all over to celebrate Belgian culture.
In July in Brussels, the Ommegang Festival is a historical extravaganza that transports you back in time. It's a remarkable part of Belgium's national celebrations. This festival vividly represents traditional festivals in Belgium, featuring knights in shining armour, colourful processions, and splendid pageantry.
The Kunstenfestivaldesarts, held in May in Brussels, is a contemporary arts festival highlighting the Belgian cultural events calendar. It showcases cutting-edge theatre, dance, and visual arts worldwide, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.
This festival, celebrated in September just across the Belgian border in France, near Belgium, is a unique addition to the Belgian cultural events scene. It celebrates puppetry, offering enchanting and thought-provoking performances that captivate audiences.
The Binche Carnival, taking place in February or March, is a UNESCO-recognized event and a cherished part of traditional festivals in Belgium. It's an extraordinary celebration where Gilles, dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, throws oranges to the crowd, creating a unique and lively spectacle.