Belgium, a country renowned for its delectable chocolate, mouthwatering waffles, and, naturally, its exceptional beer, also hosts some of Europe’s most sensational festivals. Amongst captivating cultural gatherings to mesmerizing music extravaganzas, Belgium offers an astounding array of festivities throughout the year. Within this article, let us delve into a breathtaking assortment of Belgium’s finest festivals that are simply unmissable.
20 of the best festivals in Belgium:
Bruges Beer Festival – February
Pay homage to Belgium’s celebrated beer culture at the Bruges Beer Festival, held in the enchanting city of Bruges. With over 300 different types of beer available for sampling, this festival offers an unparalleled opportunity to indulge in the nation’s finest brews. Embrace the relaxed atmosphere as you embark on a beer-filled journey that promises to tantalize your taste buds.
Chocolate Festival – February
Indulge your senses in the sumptuous Chocolate Festival held in Brussels, Belgium, where the country’s renowned chocolate craftsmanship is celebrated in all its delectable glory. This festival hosts esteemed chocolatiers from around the world, presenting visitors with an astonishing range of chocolate in its most tempting forms. Prepare to be transported into a realm of sweetness and delight.
Carnaval de Binche – February/March (dates vary based on Easter)
UNESCO has recognized Carnaval de Binche as a World Heritage event, and rightfully so. In the town of Binche, Belgium, this festival comes alive, boasting unique costumes, enchanting music, and mesmerizing dance performances. The highlight of the festival revolves around the Gilles, a group of men bedecked in vivid costumes and wooden clogs. Parading through the town, they engage the crowd by tossing oranges and dancing to the entrancing beat of the drums.
Planting of the May Pole – May
Rejoice in the arrival of spring with the annual Planting of the May Pole festival in Brussels. Witness the city center come alive as the Maypole is planted, marking the beginning of this spirited celebration. Engage in traditional music, marvel at captivating dance performances, and treat yourself to the delectable offerings from the local food stalls.
Zinneke Parade – May
Prepare to be enthralled by the biennial Zinneke Parade, a captivating event held in Brussels, Belgium. Known for its spectacular street performances and awe-inspiring floats, this parade unites individuals from all walks of life, celebrating the diversity ingrained within Belgian culture. For an extraordinary insight into the heart and soul of Brussels, the Zinneke Parade is an absolute must.
Rock Werchter – June/July
For the ultimate music experience, set your sights on Rock Werchter, a four-day extravaganza in Werchter, Belgium. Celebrated for its star-st lineup of international acts, encompassing the titans of rock and pop music, this festival guarantees an experience that will leave music enthusiasts enraptured. With multiple stages and an electrifying ambiance, Rock Werchter beckons to music lovers from near and far.
Tomorrowland – July
Immerse yourself in the exhilarating world of electronic dance music by attending Tomorrowland. This unparalleled festival takes place in Boom, Belgium, commanding attention from visitors across the globe. With awe-inspiring stage designs and performances by EDM’s biggest names, Tomorrowland promises an unparalleled atmosphere that transcends mere entertainment.
Gentse Feesten – July
As one of Europe’s oldest and grandest cultural festivals, Gentse Feesten holds an esteemed position. Spanning ten days in the captivating city of Ghent, Belgium, this festival seamlessly transforms the city into a vibrant cultural epicenter. Expect live music, mesmerizing street performances, and captivating art exhibitions. Attracting over a million visitors annually, Gentse Feesten is a cultural extravaganza that is not to be missed.
Gent Jazz Festival – July
Nestled in Ghent, Belgium, the Gent Jazz Festival invites you to unwind within its annual jazz and blues haven. Revered for its unique fusion of genres and the participation of celebrated jazz and blues artists, this festival takes place within a stunning setting and exudes an atmosphere of relaxation. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable auditory journey.
Ommegang Festival – July
Step into history with the Ommegang Festival, an enchanting event that commemorates Emperor Charles V’s arrival in Brussels in 1549. As noble knights andrious figures parade through the streets, the festival transports you to a bygone era. Engross yourself in the medieval market, revel in the live performances, and relish every moment of this wondrous journey through time.
Couleur Café – July
Come alive with the energetic vibes of the three-day Couleur Café music festival in Brussels, Belgium. Celebrated for its diverse medley of music genres, including reggae, hip-hop, and world music, this festival caters to all musical tastes. Embrace the vibrant ambiance and revel in the diverse crowd that gathers to celebrate the power of music at Couleur Café.
Les Ardentes – July
Immerse yourself in the realm of music at Les Ardentes, a four-day festival held in Liege, Belgium. This captivating gathering showcases a diverse range of musical genres, ranging from electronic beats to hip-hop and rock melodies. Enveloped by an electrifying atmosphere, Les Ardentes invites you to revel in the finest Belgian musical talent, perpetuating an experience to be cherished.
Pukkelpop – August
Prepare for three days of musical wonder at Pukkelpop, a celebrated music festival in Hasselt, Belgium. Renowned for its eclectic lineup spanning rock, pop, and electronic music, this lively gathering promises an experience. Engage with the pulsating atmosphere and relish the remarkable performances by renowned artists. Pukkelpop is a festival that demands your presence.
Festival of the Golden Dragon – August
Indulge in the extraordinary Festival of the Golden Dragon, a captivating event that celebrates the Chinese New Year in Brussels, Belgium. Prepare to be enthralled by the enchanting parade of colorful dragons and majestic lions. Immerse yourself in the traditional Chinese music and dance performances that transport you to the heart of a vibrant culture.
Couleur Locale – August
Celebrate the vibrant spirit of community with the multicultural festival, Couleur Locale, held in Antwerp, Belgium. This lively event celebrates the diversity of Belgian culture through vivid music, captivating dance performances, and engaging theatre acts. Embrace the vivacious atmosphere and immerse yourself in the essence of togetherness.
Lokerse Feesten – August
For over 40 years, Lokerse Feesten has been captivating crowds with its music festival held in Lokeren, Belgium. This long-standing celebration calls upon both international and local acts to grace its multiple stages. With a lively atmosphere and an exciting lineup of artists, Lokerse Feesten is the perfect place to discover newfound musical passions.
Flanders Festival – August/September
The Flanders Festival is an enchanting classical music extravaganza that unites various cities across Belgium. Immerse yourself in the spellbinding world of orchestral concerts and chamber music performances that embody a quest for excellence and artistry. Classical music enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to participate in this esteemed celebration of musical grandeur.
Kookeet – September
Embark on a gastronomic adventure at Kookeet, a tantalizing food festival located in Bruges, Belgium. Curated by the country’s finest chefs, this festival showcases unique and delectable dishes crafted using locally sourced ingredients. Sample an extraordinary range of Belgian cuisine, tantalizing your taste buds with an array of flavors, spanning from succulent seafood to delectable desserts.
Fêtes de Wallonie – September
Delight in the annual Fêtes de Wallonie in Namur, Belgium, as you immerse yourself in a joyous celebration of Wallonia’s rich culture and traditions. Witness this lively city transform into a colossal street party adorned with live music, captivating street performances, and luminous fireworks that illuminate the night sky.
Christmas Markets – December
Celebrate the magical festive season with Belgium’s enchanting Christmas markets, spread throughout the country. Adorned with festive decorations, live music performances, and an array of delectable food and drink stalls, these markets encapsulate the spirit of Christmas. The illustrious markets in Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent are particularly renowned for their enchanting ambiance.
In conclusion, Belgium is a country radiates with an unparalleled love for celebration, and its festivals are a testament to this passion. Whether you’re an electronic dance music aficionado, a beer connoisseur, or a visitor captivated by cultural splendor, Belgium’s vibrant festival scene promises a spellbinding experience. So, why not embark on a journey to Belgium and immerse yourself in the captivating diversity of its festival traditions?