*Piglet picture is from FreeDigitalPhotos.net. The Belgians also sing the English “Happy Birthday” song but changed the lyrics, which I find amusing since they kept the original first line to the song. Holidays/Traditions. Lang zal ze leven in de gloria Snapping your fingers may be considered impolite. For instance, Gentse Festeen is a 10-day theatre and music celebration usually held in July. On New Year's Day, people often visit friends and family. Some people celebrate Advent and have Advent Wreaths/Crowns made from fir or leylandii greenery. You might start the evening with small things like crisps, mini-pizzas, etc., or have a starter like soup. It still celebrates that time in the 14th century when a desperate procession of the remains of miracle worker St. Waudru magically worked in getting rid of the plague. Niklaas' (Flemish) or 'Saint Nicholas' (Walloon) brings them presents on December 5th and 6th, St. Nicholas' Eve and St. Nicholas' Day. One tenth from more than 11 million Belgians live in the capital city Brussels. It was a lovely affair with lots of cava, good conversation, and delicious hapjes and cake. The ritual of the maypole stretches back all the way to the early 13th century when the people of Brussels claim that they were celebrating a wedding when they fought off an attack from the Leuvenaars and planted a beautiful young beech to celebrate. But whatever you have, there's always some potato croquettes! The handshake is the standard greeting in Belgium. We had a lot of laughs even though my Dutch is far from perfect and her particular accent was a little difficult for me to understand. Make my day by following this blog and sharing in my future adventures! About 97% of people live in cities. You might spot Santa Claus at the market! An important event throughout the country is the King’s Feast which is a traditional public holiday in honour of the Kings. On the morning of December 6th, kids wake up to presents they’ve often asked for in a letter to ‘De Sint.’ While there has been some controversy brewing around the figure of Black Pete (whose face is black from all of the soot in the chimneys that he slides down to deliver presents) in the last couple of years, Sinterklaas remains a beloved Belgian tradition. on the grid!). Piet climbs down the chimney and leaves the presents in and around the shoes. Join over 20K savvy travellers reading our monthly newsletters! Small family Christmas presents are also given at Christmas too, where they are put under the tree. ( Log Out / This holiday is moveable every year because it is related to the day Easter falls under. // mobileScaling: 2.0, Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The traditional Christmas breakfast is the same as the normal Sunday breakfast eaten throughout the year. The dessert is 'Kerststronk' (Flemish) or 'la bûche de Noël' (Walloon) a chocolate Christmas Log made of sponge roll layered with cream. Mijn vader heeft het geld // googletag.enableServices(); "You could just pick up a box of chocolates at the train station on your way to the office," I offered helpfully. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I should have made brownies yesterday." A very popular one is putting on some music and passing the parcel around everyone sitting in a circle. Credit: Unsplash. To this day, the relic is paraded around on the Cart d’Or, an ornate, horse-pulled buggy, on Trinity Sunday, and the crowd has to jump in and help the animals get the gilded thing up a serious slope; if they don’t succeed, legend has it that the city could suffer terrible consequences. Belgium observes several public holidays and special events. Mijnen oude is versleten my old one is worn, decorated with lights, baubles, garlands and a star on the top. Traditional foods that are left for Sinterklaas include tangerines, gingerbread, chocolate and 'mokjes' (cookies made in the shapes of letters. What is Whit Monday and how is it celebrated in Belgium? In de gloria, In de gloria On Christmas Eve ('Kerstavond' in Flemish and 'le réveillion de Noël' in Walloon), a special meal is eaten by most families. my mother cannot know, For example, St. … // adslot0 = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/Super_Billboard_1', [[970, 250], [1230, 250]], 'div-gpt-ad-1555597002018-0').setTargeting("test","infinitescroll"). With that self title it is evident that on this day a feast is arranged for many friends and family. English Translation: Happy Birthday to you In the meadow stands a cow And the cow says “I love you” Happy Birthday To You. Once on the main square, the ‘Lumeçon’ can commence. A marching band and clucking chicken mascots entertain people while they watch the cooks stir with their giant wooden spoons and wait for an omelet piece to come their way. // adsmobileslot = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/NEW_SITE_MOBILE_TOP_ALL', [300, 250], 'div-gpt-ad-1559116370415-0').addService(googletag.pubads()); // googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); Birthday cakes are a bit different here in Belgium. When it comes to celebrations, there’s no denying that, Mons' Ducasse or 'Doudou' festival | © David Taquin/Flickr, Mons' wicker dragon being carried to the fight. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Religious beliefs declined significantly during the twentieth century but still about 65% of people believe in God. There are no ghosts or vampires involved like with American Halloween, but candy-givers do get treated to short songs wishing them a happy new year. Given the country’s considerably small size, Belgium is densely populated. 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