6 Jul 2009

FUN MONDAY - National Day in Belgium



Janice wants to know how we spent the July 4th US Independence day : Do you have a July 4th funny story you would like to share? Do you have a family tradition for this day? For those who are not US residents, please tell us when your country’s independence day is and share with us how you celebrate/spend it. We would love some pictures too, you can share your stories in pictures too.

As I am not an US resident, I spent the 4th of July in 30°C (90F) heat and tried to get rid of the jungle into which our garden had transformed itself during our holidays. I also had to fill in our fridge, which was completely empty for the same reason. Besides that there also were tons of laundry to do.

All this I wouldn't have done on our "National Day" on July 21th, and as we are not there yet, I tried to find some pictures from the last years. I wrote about how we celebrate in Waterloo on my Countries & Cities Blog.

In Brussels of course there is much more, because it is the capital there it starts with a big parade in presence of the King and Queen and all members of the Royal Family, plus the politicians of course. Years ago in the parade much more national military stuff was shown, in the last years it is more European Union directed. Of course you also have to keep your ears closed when the planes are flying over your head leaving color traces of the belgian flag.

In front of the Royal Palace is a parc where a big "family" party takes place, where also royal members are mingling with the population and their children have a lot of fun together with all the "normal" once. People do pic nic, there are shows, dances and funny other games. Of course the traditional "Frittekot" which means a booth selling "french" fries, and belgian wafers are there too.

On the streets there are different kind of parades, dances, music and people have a lot of fun.

Of course each town has its firework and some patriots are hanging flags at their windows. Not that much though. On official buildings there are always two flags now, the Belgian one and the European.

People are happy when the 21st is falling on a week day so they have a day off, and that's the most important for the majority I guess.

We never did anything special that day nor did our Belgian neighbors.


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The King and the Queen, dancing and having fun in the street, a parade on stilts, and Manneken piss dressed as an accordion player (last year)

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The King and the Queen. Our King is a very cheerful person with a lot of humour, which he really needs in this difficult country where 11 million inhabitants are fighting sometimes because of a language ! (french or flemish)

20 comments:

Puss-in-Boots said...

I forgot Belgium is one of the European countries which still has a royal family. The others, apart from UK and Monaco, I think, have kicked their royals out and become republics.

It's nice, too, that the king and queen can walk among the people with no fear of a terrorist attack or being assassinated by some crazy hopped up on drugs.

Thom said...

I never knew Belgium had a monarchy. Thanks for all the information. I bet Jientje is going to love this post :) Aloha

claudie said...

Very interesting post Gattina! You have the chance to have a royal family people can see dancing and walking this day! I can't imagine our horrible Sarkokenstein doing the same! Sure!
I did a mistake with my new blog still!!!!grr! I wanted the new wordpress version and click and now i can't go on my admin!!! but you can still comment on; I will see with Pierre what doing perhaps a new blog still! zut et trois fois zut!

Hootin' Anni said...

I so loved to read about the royal family and all Belgium does to celebrate the country!!

My entry for F M is now posted if you feel like dropping by for a visit.

jill said...

interesting that the royalty only mix on certain days, but at least they do mix! hard to think about that sort of thing here..my post is up!

Maribeth said...

Ah yes, Flemish or French. Which do you prefer?
I think there are more Royals than Puss-N-Boots thinks!

Sayre said...

It sounds like a lot of countries celebrate their independence in similar ways - fireworks, good food, and pagentry (either royal or elected).

Merle said...

Dear Gattina ~~ Wishing you a Happy
Birthday on the 8th July. Have a lovely day my friend. I am glad you are getting some warmer weathher.
I think our summers are much hotter than yours. Thirty degrees is just very nice, but we get a lot of days well over the 30, and even a few over 40. Take care, enjoy your special day. Love, Merle.

Faye said...

The Queen photographs as quite lovely and elegant--she and the king make a handsome couple. Your parades certainly top our July 4th pagentry. Tell us more about the pissing Manneken. I've only seen little boy statues in water fountains!

Hope you had a good holiday. Where to next?

Melli said...

All I know is EVERY time you show pictures of your PARADES they are fabulous! Ours can not compare! Only Macy's Thanksgiving would come close! But really - yours are just fabulous!

grace said...

Thanks for playing Gattina, though I think Janis is hosting next week. thanks for your post, I enjoyed reading it. I just read that your birthday is on 8th July, you share your birthday with my hubby :-)

Janis said...

Your National Day sounds similar to our independence day, except we have no roayals here. Thanks for sharing.

The Church Lady said...

Oh how interesting! Thanks for sharing the facts about National Day in Belgium.

Shionge said...

This is so cool, I love the picture of the King & Queen and yes can see that he is a cheerful man :D

We celebrate our Nation's Birthday on 9 August 2009 and she will be 44 years old this year :D

diane said...

I didn't realise that Belgium was a monarchy either. They look like a people's king and queen.

Dr.John said...

Thank you for those insights into your country. It is good to see how others celebrate their national day

Vlado&Toni said...

i love the king's picture where he is laughing :) he looks very human and down to earth..

Lifecruiser said...

Happy national day :-) Yes, a bit late, but better late than never...

Your king look nice and how great that he has a lot of humor. Our king has some, but not that much. He is very human though so I like him a lot anyway :-)

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

LOVELY!!

We've been to Paris on Fete Nationale, but we've not yet made it to Belgium. We MUST put that on the list!

And I'm a little sorry I only speak French and not Flemish. It seems as if Flemish is a dying language, and that's a shame.

Jientje said...

That was a great post you did there Gattina, I almost missed it but Thom told me! It's a good thing he did!