Holidays of Belgium
Perhaps in no other country in Europe there are so many holidays as in Belgium. Street festivities, fairs, processions from Easter till late autumn make country more vivid and festive.
On the first place in the eagerly Catholic country there are religious holidays. The largest of them are a Holy Blood procession in Bruges, a festive show with participants dressed in historical suits and also procession in Brussels, which is an original mixture of procession in honour of Maiden Maria and folklore merrymaking. In Wallonia, in East cantons and also in some cities at coast there are carnivals.
One of the most important holidays is Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1150 Thierry of Alsace, count of Flanders, returned from the Second Crusade with an invaluable treasure - a shrine with some drops of Jesus Christ's blood. During 300 years knights took oath in front of this relic. Since XV century in Ascension Day there is a big procession passing Bruges. On the city squares the citizens perform episodes from Old and New Testaments by means of mimicry, songs and recitation.
They wear suits of XII century representing a count of Flandres's triumphal entrance in the city.
The official holidays and the days off in Belgium are:
- January, 1-2 - New Year's Day.
- March, 31- April, 1 - Easter.
- May, 1-2 - Labour Day
- May, 9 - Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- May, 19 - Trinity Sunday.
- May, 20 - Feast of the Holy Spirit.
- July, 21 - - Independence Day, a day when king Leopold I swore allegiance to the Constitution (1831); Remembrance Day.
- August, 15 - Assumption Day
- November, 1 - All Saints' Day.
- November, 15 - Dynasty Day (St. Leopold Day by Catholic calendar), national holiday.
- December, 25 - Christmas Day.
Dynasty Day is a national holiday of the Kingdom of Belgium and it is celebrated since November 15, 1866. The holiday was founded by Leopold II, the second King of Belgians.
This day symbolizes the unity of the Belgian nation in all its political, cultural and language variety. This date is the day-off for all Belgium people.
On July, 21st Belgium celebrates King's Oath Day.
Traditionally, the holiday begins with a military parade (Gran-plas) inaugurated by King of Belgians and finishes with a colourful salute.
Besides this holiday, there are different cultural and musical events on the territory of Belgium. In the day of a national holiday one can easily visit some of the state museums of Brussels for a nominal charge of one euro.
Belgium appeared after the revolution in the Southern Netherlands and under the agreement between great European states, including Russia.
On July 21, 1831 Leopold I, the first King of Belgians swore allegiance to the Constitution in front of the Parliament.
The first King of Belgians, ascended to the German dynasty of Sax-Coburg-Gotha, made his career in the Russian army, retired as general, and then he married English princess, thus became related with Windsor Court.
On July, 21 Belgians celebrate another important date in the history of the country: a change in administrative division of the country as a result of which Belgium became federation consisting of Dutch-speaking Flanders, French-speaking Wallonia and bilingual Brussels.
Translated from: http://www.rian.ru