Feast Day of the Flemish Community

Flemish Community, Feast Day of the

July 11
Each of the autonomous regions of Belgium observes its own feast day. The Feast Day of the Flemish Community is one of several celebrations observed by the citizens of Belgium's autonomous regions, which include three linguistic communities—the Flemish, French, and German. Feast days in other regions of Belgium include Feast Day of the French Community, Feast Day of the German-Speaking Community, Iris Fest,and Walloon Regional Day.
The Flemish Community, whose political territory encompasses the historic region of Flanders in northern Belgium, celebrates its heritage on the anniversary of The Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. The battle, which ended in the Flemish defeat of France, marked the beginning of regional autonomy for this ethnic group.
Many inhabitants believe that if that untrained force of Flemish tradesmen had not overcome their professional French opponents in 1302, the region might still be under French control. The "golden spurs" refer to the 600 spurs that fell from the vanquished French knights on the battlefield, which were retrieved and later preserved as tokens of the Flemish victory.
On the feast day all Flemish governmental offices close for the holiday. Various cities, municipalities, and private groups hold cultural events; local Flemings and those resettled throughout the world pause to give a toast to Flanders; and many individuals gather to hear the minister-president of the Flemish Community deliver a speech marking the anniversary.
Belgium Embassy
3330 Garfield St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-333-6900; fax: 202-333-3079
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.