Although 15 November is a holiday for civil servants, it isn’t an official public holiday.
King doesn’t celebrate
The celebrations got underway with a te deum at Brussels cathedral.
All of the Royal Family with the exception of the King and Queen attend the service.
The King doesn’t attend as protocol decrees that it would be inappropriate for him to honour himself.
Princess Claire was also absent from this year’s te deum, although it is not clear why she failed to attend.
Since 2001, the religious service has been followed by an official reception in the Federal Parliament.
15 November and the birthday of the current King Albert II on 8 April are the two days in the year on which the King honours worthy citizens by presenting them with the medal of the Order of Leopold.
German language community celebrates
15 November is also the annual day of celebration for Belgium’s 70,000-strong German language community.
Belgium’s German speakers live in nine municipalities in the province east of Liège .
The area, along with the French-speaking town of Malmedy, was transferred from Germany to Belgium under the Treaty of Versailles.
The German language community has its own 25-seat parliament.
The Government of the German language community is made up of a Prime Minister and three ministers and is responsible for its own education, health, social affairs, the media, culture and scientific research policy.flandersnews.be/Expatica
Stay up to date with the news, without having to speak the local language.
Meet the most eligible internationals in Belgium at Expatica Date!
Find English-language jobs on Expatica job site.
This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes how to write a CV, application procedure, interview dos and don'ts, Belgian management culture.
Belgium’s first alternative directory assistance services - available through the shortcode 14-14 - can now be accessed on the internet.
Moving to Belgium presents a host of challenges to expats, not least of all finding the right home.
The psychological effects of global mobility can be physically painful.