Public holidays in Belgium

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In Belgium there are twelve official public holidays. Two of them always fall on a Sunday. Other holidays are also celebrated, but these are not official public holidays and employers are not obliged to give their employees a day off. However, some employers do award a day's holiday in accordance with union negotiations.

Public holidays[edit]

Holiday Date Dutch French German
New Year's Day January 1 Nieuwjaar Nouvel An Neujahr
Easter Variable (on a Sunday) Pasen Pâques Ostern
Easter Monday Monday after Easter Paasmaandag Lundi de Pâques Ostermontag
Labour Day May 1 Dag van de arbeid Fête du Travail Tag der Arbeit
Ascension 39 days after Easter Onze Lieve Heer hemelvaart Ascension Christi Himmelfahrt
Pentecost 49 days after Easter Pinksteren Pentecôte Pfingsten
Pentecost Monday Monday after Pentecost Pinkstermaandag Lundi de Pentecôte Pfingstmontag
Belgian National Day July 21 Nationale feestdag Fête nationale Nationalfeiertag
Assumption of Mary August 15 Onze Lieve Vrouw hemelvaart Assomption Mariä Himmelfahrt
All Saints' Day November 1 Allerheiligen Toussaint Allerheiligen
Armistice Day November 11 Wapenstilstand Jour de l'armistice Waffenstillstand
Christmas December 25 Kerstmis Noël Weihnachten

As in 2008, when Labour Day and Ascension were both on May 1, employers were required to declare an additional holiday on another day in the month. May 2 had been proclaimed as the official day for this, but, in response to complaints by several industries, the government decided that the holiday could be placed on any date. In any event, most employers seem to have decided to keep May 2 as the date.

Holidays celebrated in Belgium that are not official public holidays[edit]

Holiday Date Dutch French German
Epiphany January 6 Driekoningen Épiphanie Erscheinung des Herrn
Valentine's Day February 14 Valentijnsdag Saint-Valentin Valentinstag
Iris Day May 8 Feest van de Iris (observed in Brussels Region only) Fête de l'Iris (observed in Brussels Region only) observed in Brussels Region only not true
Day of the Flemish Community July 11 Feest van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap observed in Flemish Community only observed in Flemish Community only
Day of the French Community of Belgium September 27 observed in the French Community only Fête de la Communauté française de Belgique observed in the French Community only
Day of the Walloon Region third Sunday of September observed in the Walloon Region only Fête de la Région wallonne observed in the Walloon Region only
Halloween the day of the pumpkin October 31 Halloween Halloween Halloween
All Souls' Day November 2 Allerzielen Fête des morts Allerseelen
Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium November 15 observed in the German-speaking Community only observed in the German-speaking Community only Tag der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft
King's Feast November 15 Koningsdag Fête du Roi Festtag des Königs
Saint Nicholas December 6 Sinterklaas Saint-Nicolas Sankt Nikolaus

The days of the three communities are holidays for their civil servants and for employees of institutions controlled, supervised or financed by them (e.g. municipalities, universities) and may also be observed by banks in the concerned community. King's feast is a holiday observed by all (i.e. federal, community or regional, provincial and local) administrations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]