French Community Holiday

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French Community Holiday
Official name French: Fête de la Communauté française
Observed by French Community of Belgium
Date 27 September
Next time 27 September 2015 (2015-09-27)
Frequency annual
Related to Day of the Flemish Community, Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium; Day of the Walloon Region

The Belgian French Community Holiday (French: Fête de la Communauté française) is a holiday on September 27, held only in the French Community of Belgium. It is also variously translated as Day of the French Community, French Community Day, Feast Day of the French Community ,[1] Festival of the French Community [2] or other variants.

This date was chosen by the French Community of Belgium after an important episode in the Belgian Revolution.

Origin of the date[edit]

The area of the French Community of Belgium

The Belgian Revolution from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands erupted on the night of August 25, 1830, following a performance of Daniel Auber's sentimental and patriotic opera La Muette de Portici, a tale suited to fire National Romanticism, for it was set against Masaniello's uprising against the Spanish masters of Naples in the 17th century. The play caused a riot, and the crowd poured into the streets after the performance, shouting patriotic slogans, and swiftly took possession of government buildings.

The affable and moderate Crown Prince William, who represented the monarchy in Brussels, was convinced by the Estates-General on September 1 that the administrative separation of north and south was the only viable solution to the crisis. His father rejected the terms of accommodation that he proposed.

King William I attempted to restore the establishment order by force, but the royal army under Prince Frederik was unable to retake Brussels in bloody street fighting, September 23 to 26. A provisional government was declared in Brussels on September 26, and during the night of the 26-27, the Dutch troops retreated.[3]

Fernand Massart, a Walloon politician active in the 1960s and 1970s, proposed Walloons celebrate on September 27 in commemoration of the victory. On June 24, 1975, the date was chosen by the French Community as French Community Day, and it was first celebrated that same year.[4]

Modern celebrations[edit]

All schools are closed for the holiday, though many business remain open. The festival is celebrated with many free concerts featuring francophone acts. These take place throughout the French Community, in cities such as Mons, Namur, Huy, Liège, Charleroi and Brussels.[3] Theatrical performances and sporting events also take place in some areas.

The Flemish Community has a parallel holiday called the Flemish Community Holiday, held on July 11. It commemorates the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.[1] It is worth noting 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Belgium in short". Belgium Federal Portal. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  2. ^ "27 septembre : Fête de la Communauté française !". Wallonie-Bruxelles International. 2007-09-17. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Fête de la Communauté française" (in French). La Communauté français. 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  4. ^ "C’est quoi la fête du 27 septembre?" (in French). RTBF. September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2007.