November 15 – King's Feast in Belgium

Posted on November 15, 2017

This holiday is sometimes called "Dynasty Day," and it is considered the official birthday of the King of Belgium.

In fact, it's not the actual birthday of the current king, Philippe - who was born in April. Since 1866, Belgians have celebrated November 15 as King's Feast and as the official birthday of whatever king (or queen?) was currently sitting on the throne. 

In a way, the day celebrates the monarchy and the bloodline of the Belgium's kings (hence the "Dynasty"). After all, Belgium's first king, after the nation separated from the Netherlands in 1831, was Leopold I, and he was named after St. Leopold. November 15 happens to be the feast day of St. Leopold.

The Belgian parliament holds a ceremony in honor of the king. Some members of the Belgian Royal Family attend the ceremony - but King Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathilde, do not attend, because the custom is that they should not be seen to celebrate themselves!

In contrast to King's Feast in Belgium,
Queen's Day in the Netherlands
IS celebrated, bigtime! Here you
see a sea of orange, the national
Actually, there isn't too much celebration, from what I can see. Apparently, King's Feast / Koningsdag / King's Day / Dynasty Day / King's Birthday  is not a big holiday in Belgium. Many government buildings are closed, and there is that ceremony in Parliament, but most people go to work or school just like normal, and many barely even realize the day is a holiday. I read that people in the street, when asked, say (in French or Dutch / Flemish, whichever they speak) something like this: "Oh, do we have a King's Day? Oh, yeah - I mean, that's just celebrated by the royals."

So I can't show you splendid pictures of Belgian festivities, so instead I will show you splendid pictures of Belgian scenery:

Also on this date:

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