Every year, Brussels is decorated in black, yellow, and red. National Day festivities commemorate the constitutional oath taken by Leopold I in 1831, on July 21st. He became the first King of Belgium, and the country anchored its independence from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The first festivities start to take place on the 20th of July when people gather at the Place du Jeu de Balle to participate in the National Ball—an outdoor ballroom lesson for all levels. The class is comparable to an open-air party to the sounds of live music.
The celebration itself commences on the morning of the 21st of July when the Royal Family and high officials attend the Te Deum mass in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. At the same time, the party begins around the city—in Brussels Park, Rue de la Régence, Place Royale, Place Poelaert, Sablon, and surrounding areas. Adults and children have plenty of activities to choose from. In the Police village, one may watch the demonstration of sniffer dogs. In the Safety Village, you can take part in VR-games based on freeing hostages. While in the Defense Village, you have the opportunity to overcome an obstacle course. In addition to the dozens of sports courses, performances, and concerts, people may also visit museums for free.
The most picturesque part of the holiday is a civil and military parade that starts at 4 p.m. on the Place des Palais. Belgian army divisions, police and emergency services walk through the city with military equipment on display and an aircraft show.
The National Day celebration ends at the Place des Palais: at 11 p.m., fireworks light the sky above Brussels.