Special Events in Brussels

Every two years in May, local residents, organizations and schools present the Zinneke Biennial Parade. Named for the river that encompasses Brussels, the event brings together citizens of all cultural and financial backgrounds for an artistic and social celebration. Each event features a different theme, but usually includes a variety of music, children's shows and street theatre. For two years prior to the parade, hundreds of participants develop dozens of workshops in preparation of the festivities.

Special events in Brussels, Belgium, include the Brussels Jazz Marathon, which takes place the last weekend in May. The free, three-day event features over 200 concerts and over 700 performers. Crowds enjoy listening to a variety of world-renowned artists along with up and coming new talents. The festival offers a little bit of something for all music fans, as the event also features funk, Latino, rock and blues. The city constructs four main open stages for the event, but live music also escapes the inner spaces of dozens of local cafes and clubs.

Every year, during the first weekend in July, the historic Ommegang begins. The event replicates the 1549 A.D. procession of the Emperor, the royal family and court from the Sablon Church to the Grand Palace. Opera singers perform live, as the royal parade proceeds, while accompanied by traditional music. The celebratory festival crescendos into an elaborate medieval festival that continues every Tuesday throughout the summer. Over 1,000 costumed performers recreate the village and events, which include a number of games and tournaments.

The Tapis des Fleurs, or Floral Carpet, is another one of the special events in Brussels, Belgium. Two years of planning and preparation culminates in an extremely detailed and elaborate display consisting of almost one million Begonia blooms arranged in an intricate pattern. The carpet extends almost the entire length and width of the Grand-Place square. Occurring in mid August and lasting five days, the spectacular display features the colorful blooms intertwined with real grass. Occasional watering prevents the turf from shrinking and the blooms from wilting. Amazingly, the grass continues growing throughout the event.

August 9th of every year Brussels' citizens celebrate the event known as the Meyboom. Men venture to the local forest and chop down a Meyboom (Dutch tree). They display a grand procession through the town, while carrying the tree and accompanied by a brass band and a host of giant puppets. The parade ends at the proposed planting site. According to Dutch folklore, the tree replanting must occur before 5:00 P.M. or the community relinquishes the year's blessings to the neighboring community of Leuven. The tradition began in the 13th century and some accounts relay that the event depicts a long-standing rivalry between communities.