Belgium’s national holiday

The 21st July is Belgian’s national holiday – independence day Belgian style – and celebrated as such in Brussels, which is where I took the following photos. Yesterday Belgium was 184 years old! Well, not quite. They got a King, Leopold I (the German uncle of British Queen Victoria) on 21st July 1831, but their revolution against The Netherlands started on 25th August 1830. Even then they didn’t get around to declaring independence until 4th October 1830. And actually the Dutch didn’t finally admit they had lost control until 19th April 1839. So Belgium is something between 185 and 176 years old then.

Yes, I’ve been reading Wikipedia.

Anyway, we’ve been celebrating and this being Belgium the celebrations have included frites (=chips) and beer, sausage and stoemp (= stomped – mashed – potatoes) and beer, chocolate and beer, and some more beer to wash it down. So you’ll forgive me, I trust, if this contribution is a bit late and principally involves photos.

National day - Rue de la Régence
National day on Rue de la Régence.
A national day tandem - I didn't ask if it was to be ridden by a Fleming and a Walloon, and if so who would sit in front.
A national day tandem – I didn’t ask if it was to be ridden by a Fleming and a Walloon, and if so who would sit in front. Edit: u/autofasurer on Reddit points out that the saddle at the back is facing the wrong way: “I suspect it’s meant as a tongue in cheek critique on the fact that opposing forces won’t get you anywhere.”
The military were out in force and offering face painting...
The military were out in force and offering face painting…
...and also intriguing punishments for misbehaviour.
…and also intriguing punishments for misbehaviour.
Various groups were celebrating in their own special way. Here the skull cap brigade lines up before parading through the town.
Various groups were celebrating in their own special way. Here the skull cap brigade lines up before parading through the town.
A good excuse for a picnic in the park
A good excuse for a picnic in the park.
Peddle car racing
Peddle car racing.
Waiting for mussels and frites. And beer.
Waiting for mussels and frites. And beer.
Here come the drummers.
Here come the drummers.
In case you don't want to get your face painted, you could instead wear a mask - though I didn't see anyone actually wearing one.
In case you don’t want to get your face painted, you could instead wear a mask – though I didn’t see anyone actually wearing one. Edit: On Reddit u/altnabla told me: “You probably didn’t see people wearing the masks because, according to Belgian legislation, it is illegal to wear those in public” – and backed this up with a link to relevant documentation.

The day ended with fireworks, but I don’t have any photos, so you’ll just have to imagine them. Probably just as good – if not better – than the real thing.


No Soundcloud recording for this entry. Maybe next time…

This article was written for the #Blogg52 challenge.

4 thoughts on “Belgium’s national holiday”

    1. Hehe! When I saw this photo on the computer screen I noticed how very serious the soldier looks to the left, so I thought: instrument of punishment. The poor kid volunteered, but he didn’t look terribly happy while the thing was spinning him around.

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