Christmas in Belgium
There are two Santa Claus figures in Belgium – one of the perks of Belgium’s mixed culture. Saint Nicholas visits Walloon-speaking children on 4 December where he finds out who has been naughty and who has been nice! He leaves the bad children a pile of twigs, in a shoe or basket by the door. He returns with gifts on 6 December for those who have been good.
Père Noël visits the French-speaking children on 6 December too, along with his companion Père Fouettard (the whipping father!). He gives presents to the good children, whilst Père Fouettard administers whippings and gives lumps of coal to bad children.
Belgians celebrate Christmas on 6 December with the feast of Saint Nicholas. It is a religious occasion and Belgians go to church services and there are family gatherings with carol singing and storytelling. They also mark the 25 December, but it is more of a low-key affair. Gifts are exchanged, although it is between friends and family rather than having Saint Nicholas or Père Noël leaving them under the tree.
Christmas Food & Drink
Belgium is traditionally home to delicious food and you’ll find lots of tasty treats to take home as gifts! Everyone will love the rich Belgian chocolate and there are plenty of stalls selling it in beautiful packaging.
There are a host of special Christmas delicacies in Belgium. Cougnou is sweet bread baked in the shape of the baby Jesus, and you’ll find that the tempting aroma of cognou being baked lingers in the air all around the Christmas market. You’ll also be able to enjoy traditional Belgian waffles and chocolate – an extra special treat! Speculoos are seasonal spiced cookies and many stalls bake them freshly around the market.
You’ll be able to enjoy the usual Christmas drinks. It’s worth trying one of the local beers too – it might not be seasonal, but a world-famous Belgian beer goes down a treat when you’re enjoying the Brussels Christmas market.
There’s an assortment of gifts available at Brussels Christmas market. From traditional gifts such as clothing and accessories to handmade toys and other handicrafts, you’re sure to find a great gift for someone – or why not treat yourself!
Enjoy a relaxing trip to the beautiful city of Brussels and get into the festive spirit ahead of your own Christmastime with a mini cruise to Brussels Christmas market.