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Belgium: National Day 2023 in Brussels

Belgium: National Day 2023 in Brussels

Waarom wordt de nationale feestdag van België op 21 juli gevierd?

Belgian National Day commemorates the oath taken by the first King of the Belgians, Leopold I, on 21 July 1831.

The country became a constitutional monarchy after gaining independence following the Belgian Revolution of 1830 against the Netherlands. The Congress chose Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as the first King of the Belgians on 4 June 1831.

The new king took the oath of office on 21 July 1831 in the church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg. He swore allegiance to the Belgian Constitution, which had been drawn up by the National Congress and recognised on 7 February 1831, and to Belgian law.

On 27 May 1890, a law was passed establishing 21 July as Belgium's National Day. This celebration provides an opportunity to fly the Belgian flag on public buildings.

What are the festivities on 21 July?

Belgian National Day is celebrated throughout the country with lively festivities. Public buildings are decorated with flags in honour of the bank holidays, and the day is punctuated by various popular celebrations such as lantern dances, fireworks and shows.

In Brussels, the entirely free event offers the following programme:

  • Te Deum
  • Party in the Park
  • Military and civilian parade
  • Concert Fireworks display


Te Deum

The celebrations begin at 10 am with a Te Deum in the Cathedral of Saints-Michel-et-Gudule in Brussels. Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore will be present.

Party in the Park

From 10 a.m., there's a big party in and around the Parc de Bruxelles, formerly known as the Parc Royal. Free activities are organised all around the Park.

Military and civilian parade

At 4pm, the military and civilian parade starts in the vicinity of the Royal Palace of Brussels, on the Place des Palais.

Concert and fireworks

From 9pm, a free concert will be held in the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels. A host of Belgian artists will be performing. Food Trucks and bars will be set up in the park.

Fireworks will be set off at 11pm from the Cinquantenaire esplanade and arcades.


Make the most of the summer to explore the districts of Brussels at your own pace and discover our selection of activities to do with children.