Events of the City
The City of Brussels organizes and welcomes numerous big events throughout the year.
In the Middle Ages, the Ommegang was a religious procession. The name means 'go round a church'. The people of Brussels chose the parade as major event for the reception of emperor Charles the Fifth in 1549, who came to present his son, the future Philippe II, to our regions. Since 1930 this tradition is renewed. Every year, on the first Tuesday and Thursday of July, more than 1.400 participants march through the streets of Brussels and on the Grand-Place to remember this major event of the city.
Each year, the banks of the Brussels channel, at the level of the Square Sainctelette, are transformed into a real urban beach for Bruxelles les Bains. It is not only a place for relaxation in summer, but also a place for concerts, entertainment for children, sports, parties,... The site is open for a month, approximately between 15 July and 15 August.
The Midi Fair, one of the oldest Brussels summer events (since 1880), is traditionally held in July and August. This traditional fair extends along the small ring road, on the Boulevard du Midi, near the Midi train station. The attractions are intended for young and old. Of course, Belgian and Brussels specialities can also be tasted at the fair.
Since its start in 2002, the Brussels Summer Festival has grown to become the most important cultural event of August in Brussels. The City of Brussels organizes 10 days of concerts and cultural activities in the city centre.
Every 2 years, the Grand-Place of Brussels is covered with a carpet of begonias. Officially, the first flower carpet was born in 1971 on the Grand-Place. This carpet of 77m x 24m is realized in several stages and installed by approximately 120 volunteers. It is installed only for 1 weekend (Assumption Day). The access to the Grand-Place is free. A panoramic visit (with access to the City Hall) is also possible.
Nuit Blanche, one of the highlight cultural events, counts up to 100,000 visitors in a festive atmosphere. Overnight, the city seems to to stand still and visitors can look for art in the city. Each year, a quarter is chosen where the public will discover new artistic expressions (digital installations, multidisciplinary performances,...) on unusual locations.
Winter Wonders, with a big Christmas market, was launched in 2001. It is organized at the Grand-Place of Brussels and around the Bourse, on the Place Sainte-Catherine, the Marché aux Poissons and the Place de la Monnaie. The access to Winter Wonders and the Christmas market is free. It includes a Christmas market with more than 200 chalets, fairground attractions (big wheel, merry-go-rounds,...), an ice rink for skating,...
Throughout the year, there are high level sports events and matches in Brussels. For example, the City of Brussels gives its support to: