Hot Belgian chocolate paired with freshly-baked waffles or pancakes topped with a generous amount of Nutella and a comforting gluhwein shared with loved ones. Ho, ho, ho, ho! It’s indisputably Belgian Filipino Lovers’ favorite time of the year! 

Belgium is known to be one of the most magical places to spend a Christmas holiday. This may not be the perfect location for those seeking a White Christmas, as snowfall is not a guarantee on the yuletide season. However, those tasty delights and picturesque Christmas markets set on medieval-time cities definitely will make you want to experience a Belgian Christmas.

How do Belgians celebrate Christmas? – Belgian Filipino Lovers

The whole country celebrates Christmas differently but meaningfully in their own ways. The Flemish region calls it, “Vrolijk Kerstfeest”, while the Wallonia part terms it, “Joyeaux Noël”, and finally the German part names it, “Frohe Weihnachten”.

How do most Belgians celebrate Christmas?

Kerstmarkt

Popular Christmas traditions like putting Christmas decorations at home and along the street, gift-giving to loved ones, and Christmas activities are common practices by Belgians. But the most popular one for all age groups is going to the Christmas market or locally known as “Kerstmarkt”. These little cottage shops open several weeks ahead before Christmas day, so everyone has sufficient time to enjoy the coziness of the season. Here you can buy your presents, hang out with friends, sip a warm drink, taste some sweet treats, do some ice skating, or take a ride on a Ferris wheel.

Kerstmarkt in Gent, Belgium

Kerstavond

Christmas Eve is one of the most important days for most Belgians. This event has always been a special family gathering usually spent at home. It is also a popular season to introduce your other half to your family and friends. If you plan to do so, then this is an excellent time! The evening usually starts with an apéritif, a bountiful serving of alcoholic beverages like champagne or cava to toast with family and visitors. 

Belgian Apéritif

Belgium is a land flowing with dairy products. So if you are a cheese lover, you don’t want to miss this portion! They always partner their cheeses with locally produced bread, fresh fruits like figs, dates and some nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts.

Belgians love seafood. They typically serve fresh oysters and buttery cooked scallops or mussels for starters. Besides, you can also grab some crisps, cured meat, and grandma’s soup.

Belgian Mussels and Beer

For the main course, dishes made from chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and fish are extremely popular. They are usually cooked at a high temperature and combined with fine spices and herbs, making the meat very soft and mouth-watering. The main menu is served with potato croquettes and side vegetables like Brussel sprouts and white asparagus.

For the sweets, locals adore their very own chocolate pralines and Christmas ice-cream cake. They eat them together with a cup of coffee or tea while chatting with each other or watching a Christmas movie.

Of course, an ordinary Belgian household stores up at least one case of beer in their pantry. So expect to see tons of drinks from renowned beer makers like Jupiler, Duvel, Leffe, and so much more.

Best Christmas Markets in Belgium

  • 1. Aalst

When: December 6, 2019, until January 6, 2020

Opening Hours of Skate Rink: 

*Sunday – Thursday: 11u – 21u

*Friday & Saturday: 11u – 22u

*December 24, 31: 11u – 17u

*December 25 & January 1: 14u – 21u

  • 2. Antwerpen

When: December 7, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours: 

*Monday – Thursday: 12u – 22u

*Friday & Saturday: 12u – 24u

*Sunday: 12u – 22u

*December 24, 31 & January 6: 12u – 18u

  • 3. Brasschaat

When: November 30, until January 6, 2020

Opening Hours of Skate Rink:

*Close on December 3, 4, 10, 11, & 17

*Weekdays before Christmas vacation: starting 15u

*Everyday during the Christmas vacation and weekends: starting 13u

  • 4. Brugge

When: November 22, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours:

*Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 10:30 – 22u

*Friday & Saturday: 10:30 – 23u

  • 5. Brussel

When: November 29, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours: 

*Open Daily: 12u – 22u

  • 6. Durbuy

When: November 29, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours of Christmas Market:

*November 23 – December 16: only weekends from 11u – 20u

*December 17 – January 6: 11u – 20u

  • 7. Gent

When: December 6, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours:

*Sunday – Thursday: 11u – 22u

*Friday – Saturday: 11u- 23u

*December 24, 31: 11u – 17u

*December 25 & January 1: 14u – 22u

  • 8. Hasselt

When: November 23, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours:

*Monday – Sunday: 11u – 22u

  • 9. Knokke

When: November 29, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours:

*Open Daily: 10u – 22u

*December 24, 31: 10u – 18u

*December 25 & January 1: 12u – 23u(Skate Rink closes at 17:30)

  • 10. Leuven

When: December 11 until 22, 2019

Opening Hours: Click Here

  • 11. Luik

When: November 29 until 30, 2019

Opening Hours:

*Monday – Sunday: 11u – 22u

*December 24: 11u – 18u

*December 25: 13u – 20u

  • 12. Mechelen

When: December 6 until 29,  2019

Opening Hours: Weekends Only

*Friday: 18u – 23

*Saturday: 11u – 23u

*Sunday: 11u – 20u

  • 13. Oostende

When: November 29, 2019, until January 5, 2020

Opening Hours:

*Monday – Thursday: 12u – 21u

*Friday: 12u – 22u

*Saturday – Sunday: 11u – 22u

*December 24, 31: 11u – 17u

*December 25 & January 1: 14u – 21u

Belgianfilipinolovers (43)

We are a dynamic team consisting of young and passionate - minded individuals who love Belgium and the Philippines. Our common desire is to bring and share valuable contents around culture, travel, relationship, family values, culinary, and lifestyle.