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Important dates

National Holiday, 21 July

The National Congress of 19 June 1831 decided by decree that the anniversary of the events of September 1830 would be celebrated each year by popular festivities. The law of 20 August 1880 stipulated that the National Holiday would be held on the third Sunday of August. This law was repealed by the law of 27 May 1890, which provided that 21 July, the anniversary of the swearing-in of King Leopold I, would become the date of the National Holiday. During the following two days, festivities would also be organised without those two days also becoming official public holidays.

So 21 July 1890 was the first time that the National Holiday was celebrated on 21 July.

As far as the parade is concerned, a military and civil parade was held on 22 July 1890. In 1895, it took place on 23 July. It was only in 1905 that the date of the parade was fixed as 21 July. The parade usually takes place on the Place des Palais.

Royal Holiday, 15 November

Since 1866, the "Royal Holiday" has been celebrated on 15 November, the name day of Leopold (in the Germanic calendar) and Albert (general calendar).

The name "Dynasty Holiday" was used during the Regency of Prince Charles. This name was erroneous, however, as was emphasised by a circular from the Minister of the Interior in 1953.

Commemoration for the deceased  members of the Royal Family, 17 February

On 17 February 1935, a mass was celebrated in commemoration of the death of King Albert I, who died in an accident at Marche-les-Dames in 1934. After the death of Queen Astrid, on 29 August 1935, it was decided to commemorate all deceased members of the Royal Family on 17 February. The mass celebrated each year on that date in the Church of Laken is a family ceremony.