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Public holidays in Belgium

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Belgium has 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.

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

 

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

Holiday Date Dutch French
Epiphany January 6 Driekoningen Épiphanie
Valentine's Day February 14 Valentijnsdag Saint-Valentin
Iris Day May 8 Feest van de Iris (observed in Brussels Region of Belgium only) Fête de l'Iris (observed in Brussels Region of Belgium only)
Day of the Flemish Community July 11 Feest van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap 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
Day of the Walloon Region third Sunday of September observed in the Walloon Region only Fête de la Région wallonne
Halloween October 31 Halloween Halloween
All Souls' Day November 2 Allerzielen Fête des morts
Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium November 15 observed in the German-speaking Community only observed in the German-speaking Community only
King's Feast November 15 Koningsdag Fête du Roi
Saint Nicholas December 6 Sinterklaas Saint-Nicolas

 

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.

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