History of the French Community Day
The feast of the French Community was celebrated for the first time in 1975. This day commemorates an important event of the Belgian Revolution during which the royal army failed to take back Brussels from the Walloon revolutionaries.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Belgians were unhappy under the rule of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. On August 25, 1830, a riot broke out after, among other things, the performance of Daniel Auber’s patriotic opera “La muette de Portici”. This led to an uprising in which crowds rushed to the streets and took control of government buildings while shouting patriotic slogans.
At the time, the Estates General convinced Crown Prince William, who represented the monarchy in Brussels, that the administrative separation of north and south was the only solution to alleviate the crisis. However, the father of the crown prince, King William I, rejected the proposed accommodation conditions. Later, the royal army was unable to retake Brussels and a provisional government was declared in Brussels after which the Dutch troops withdrew.
When we talk about the French Community of Belgium, we are referring to the French-speaking population who reside in the Walloon Region. They constitute around 41% of the country’s population and around 80% of French-speaking Belgians reside in Wallonia. In fact, this community, also known as the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, has its own parliament, government, administration and flag.
In June 1975, the French Community chose the date of September 27 as the French Community Day. On the day of the French Community, all schools are closed, however, some businesses remain open. People celebrate the holiday with concerts, theatrical performances and sporting events.