Programme of events for Belgian National Day 2019

On the occasion of Belgian National Day on 21 July, a host of activities for the general public take place in Brussels. National Day is intended to be a large-scale popular event, offering all citizens the chance to celebrate in the heart of the capital. The organizers this year are the Ministry of Defence, the FPS Home Affairs and the federal and local police, in close cooperation with the Association for the Advancement and Promotion of Brussels.

The theme of 21 July 2019 is the 75th anniversary of the Liberation.

Just like the federal campaign “Belgium, uniquely phenomenal”, the festivities of 21 July contribute to promoting a positive image of Belgium.

Below you will find an overview of the activities that are being organised or co-organised by the federal government:

Saturday 20 July 2019

From 7.30 p.m. on - Bal national - Vossenplein/Place du Jeu de Balle

This year too, the Bal national is taking over Vossenplein/Place du Jeu de Balle. This popular event in the Marolles kicks off at 7.30 p.m. Belgium’s biggest popular ball begins with a beginner’s introduction to dance, followed by a series of free concerts. This year, the acts include Belle Perez, le Grand Jojo and Big Ben.

More information on (fr)

8 p.m. - Concert: a prelude to National Day - BOZAR

This classical music concert is being organised by the International Queen Elisabeth Competition, together with the Belgian National Orchestra and Bozar, thanks to the support of the FPS Chancery of the Prime Minister and the Belgian National Lottery. The event’s location is the magnificent Henry Le Boeuf Hall of the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts. The King and the Queen will attend the concert.

This year, the guest musician is pianist Henry Kramer, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2016. He will be accompanied by the Belgian National Orchestra and will interpret the Piano Concerto no. 4, op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Belgian National Orchestra, under Hugh Wollf, will also play Egmont, Ouverture by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dances of Galanta by Zoltán Kodály. The concert is sold out.

More information on the BOZAR website.

Sunday 21 July 2019

10 a.m. - Te Deum - Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

The Te Deum mass of 21 July is being celebrated in the presence of the King and Queen and the high officials in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula at 10 a.m., presided over by Cardinal Jozef De Kesel.

From 10 a.m. on - Party at Brussels Park - Brussels Park/Regentschapsstraat/Rue de la Régence and surrounding area

From 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., it’s party time between the Palace of Justice and the Paleis der Natie/Palace of the Nation (federal parliament) and more specifically on Regentschapsstraat/Rue de la Régence, at the Zavel/Sablon, on Koningsplein/Place Royale and in Brussels Park. The programme includes a multitude of free, fun and folklore-inspired happenings. Museums and churches are open to the public in this area. Brussels Park and the Zavel/Sablon will feature the sound of music all day long.

The FPS Home Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the federal and local police, the European institutions and various different federal public services will all take part in the celebrations. A selection of the events:

  • The Police Village on the Poelaertplein/Place Poelaert once more offers a varied programme for young and old this year.
  • In the Regentschapsstraat/Rue de la Régence you will find the Phenomenal Truck parked up - the Federal Government’s information truck - which will be wearing the colours of the “Belgium, uniquely phenomenal” campaign. You can discover (or rediscover) the 99 reasons to love Belgium and participate in 100% Belgian, “uniquely phenomenal” activities, for example, a photo booth, a ‘trompe l’oeil’ and a quiz. 
  • The BEL-Europa stand of the federal government and the representatives in Belgium of the European Commission and the European Parliament offers a raft of entertainment on Koningsplein/Place Royale.
  • The Safety Village of Home Affairs at the Zavel/Sablon is rolling out the red carpet! On the programme: demonstrations, games and many prizes to be won.

4:00 p.m. - Military and civilian parade

The traditional military and civilian parade will take place on Paleizenplein/Place des Palais starting at 4 p.m.

11 p.m. - Fireworks - Paleizenplein/Place des Palais

To conclude this National Day, a grand firework display takes place, which is being set off from the gardens of the Academy Palace, thanks to the support of the FPS Chancery of the Prime Minister. The public can admire the fireworks free of charge from Paleizenplein/Place des Palais.

Visit the website (fr) for more information about the festive programme in detail, a plan of the festive zone, mobility, etc.