What does it mean to be ‘Belgian’? Do you immediately think about fries on Friday, the Tour de Belgique or the mixture of languages and dialects that are scattered over our small country? Belgium is filled with traditions and (somewhat weird) habits we Belgians recognize ourselves. What unite us – except our Red Devils?
1. Food lovers
We are known to be ‘Burgundian’ by our neighboring countries, especially when they talk about our love for food. It’s not for nothing we are known for our chocolate, waffles and Belgian beers. Apart from those, our farmers are also very proud of our chicory, sprouts and asparagus and you’ll see them popping up on the recipe list in many Belgian restaurants. (Children however, don’t like them very much.) Belgians are big fans of seafood such as shrimps – that are still caught in a traditional way – and a real Belgian bistro cannot go without the typical moules frite on its menu!
2. Everything is far away
Belgium is a lot smaller than all other neighboring countries (except Luxemburg) but still we feel like everything is far away. How is that even possible? A Belgian person cannot imagine going on a trip from the Ardennes to the coast for one single day, it’s just too far away… That’s why we like jobs close to our homes. Of course, traffic jams can have something to do with it, too as we have plenty of those on our Belgian highways.
3. Football, cycling and… career pigeons racing!?
Although football is the most popular sport that gets the most media attention, it’s the cycling that really warms up our Belgian hearts. Many Belgian supporters will be tied to their television screens during those last 20km of the Tour de Flandre. Names like Eddy Merckx, Tom Boonen or Philippe Gilbert are well known with foreign media, for good reason. However, the most folkloric Belgian sportspeople are without doubt the pigeon fanciers. Imagine a small room in the back of the local pub filled with middle aged men, subscribing their pigeons for the next round from Barcelona. The day itself, when the pigeons ‘have to fall’, it is prohibited for the neighbors to put up their laundry as it can scare away the pigeons.
4. National holiday on July 21st
Although opinions are rather divided about the subject of our royal family, we all do like to party during our national holiday the 21st of July. We embrace ourselves with the Belgian tricolor, go for a fresh Belgian beer (or more) and have fries for dinner. This year, Belgium celebrates its 187st anniversary and there will be fireworks, music and parties all over the country in celebration.
At VIAGE we also have something special to celebrate the 21st of July as it is the official inauguration of our new loyalty program, the Royal Rewards! Join us during the day for a free Belgian waffle, Belgian fries and have one hell of a Belgian party!
More info about the Royal Day event here.