Belgium Independence Day around the world in 2023

  How long until Belgium Independence Day?
Belgium Independence Day
  Dates of Belgium Independence Day around the world
2024 BelgiumJul 21
Belgium Sun, Jul 21National Holiday
2023 BelgiumJul 21
Belgium Fri, Jul 21National Holiday
2022 BelgiumJul 21
Belgium Thu, Jul 21National Holiday
2021 BelgiumJul 21
Belgium Wed, Jul 21National Holiday
2020 BelgiumJul 21
Belgium Tue, Jul 21National Holiday

Independence Day celebrates the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands in 1831

When is Belgian Independence Day?

The National Day of Belgium is celebrated annually on July 21st.

Independence Day celebrates the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands in 1831, as well as the formal establishment of the Kingdom.

History of Belgian Independence Day

Belgium had been part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1815, but the majority of the population were Roman Catholic and increasingly felt the rule of King William I favoured the Northern Protestants. The discontentment was heightened by high levels of unemployment in the South.

In August 1830, riots led to a wider uprising and calls for Belgium to secede from the Netherlands. A London Conference of major European powers then recognized Belgian independence.

After Belgium asserted its independence from the Netherlands on October 4th 1830, the Belgian National Congress considered several candidates to become king.

After deliberation, they asked Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg to become king of the newly formed country. Leopold accepted and was proclaimed "King of the Belgians" on June 26th 1831.

Leopold I then sailed from Dover to Calais, in France, after which he was taken to the Belgian border village of De Panne on July 17th 1831.

He travelled through the country, visiting, among others, Bruges and Ghent, and on July 21st 1831, he took the constitutional oath as the first king of the Belgians on the Place Royale in Brussels.

This day became the Belgian National Day.

How is Belgian Independence Day Celebrated?

During the national day, the Parliament chambers, the central bank and other institutions all open to the public, while parks and venues across town hold concerts and other activities. A large military parade takes place in Brussels attracting over 100,000 spectators.

Every year, several ceremonies are held to commemorate the day, starting with the Belgian royal family, as well as the country’s political institutions, ambassadors and representatives of various European institutions, attending the Te Deum hymn in several religious venues across the country.

Belgians sing "La Brabançonne," the national anthem, and observe their independence with festivities, especially in the capital city of Brussels.

If Independence Day falls on a weekend, no official public holiday is observed in lieu, but many employees, particularly in the public sector, will be given an extra day of vacation instead to use at a later date. Many employees are encouraged to use these extra days between Christmas and New Year.

Celebrate Belgian Independence Day with your Hue lights!

The Flag of Belgium

The Belgian flag was first flown in 1830 at the start of the Belgian Revolution, though the stripes were horizontal. The colours of red, yellow and black come from the red lion of Hainaut, Limburg and Luxembourg, the yellow lion of Brabant, and the black lion of Flanders and Namur. The stripes changed from horizontal to vertical in January 1831 in homage to the French Tricolore.

Did you know?

Three facts about Belgium Independence Day

The word 'spa' for a health resort comes from the town of Spa in Belgium where the ancient Romans enjoyed the health-giving springs.

The saxophone was invented in the early 1840's by Adolphe Sax in Dinant.

Audrey Hepburn was Belgian.

More facts about Belgium Independence Day

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