French Community Holiday

Regional Holidays in Belgium Regional Holiday in Belgium

Panoramic view of the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium

When is French Community Day?

The Belgian French Community Holiday is a regional holiday in Belgium always celebrated on 27 September.

History of French Community Day

From the start of the nineteenth century, Belgians had been become increasingly unhappy under the rule of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

On the evening of 25 August 1830, a performance of Daniel Auber's patriotic opera 'La Muette de Portici', led to revolution. The performance caused a riot, and the crowd poured into the streets after the opera ended, shouting patriotic slogans, and quickly taking control of government buildings.

The moderate Crown Prince William, who represented the monarchy in Brussels, announced on 1 September that the administrative separation of the north and south was the only workable solution to the crisis. His father, King William I, rejected this proposal and attempted to restore the establishment order by force.

The royal army was unable to retake Brussels after vicious street fighting during September 23 to 26. A provisional government was declared in Brussels on 26 September, and the Dutch troops retreated during the night of the 26-27.

The Flemish Community observes a community day, on 11 July, called the Battle of the Golden Spurs, commemorating a victory over the French in 1302.

It is interesting to note that the French Community Holiday celebrates the victory of French speaking Belgians over the Dutch army, while the Flemish Community Holiday celebrates the victory of Dutch speaking Belgians over the French army.

How is French Community Celebrated?

On 24 June 1975, the date of 27 September was selected by the French Community as French Community Day. It was first celebrated later that same year.

Schools close for the holiday, although some businesses may stay open. The day is celebrated with free concerts featuring francophone acts, throughout the French Community, in cities such as Brussels, Mons, Namur and Huy. Theatrical performances and sporting events may also take place in some areas.

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