Thursday, 15 November 2007

La fête du Roi

Today, It turns out is "Royal Holiday" day.

As much as I bitch about Belgium at the best of times, us Belgians (because despite appearances, I am one) do know how to turn every which event into a public holiday!!

Quick history lesson:
This holiday has been around since 1866, day of St-Leopold (or St-Albert depending on which calendar you use) and is traditionally celebrated by a Te Deum being sung at one of our most beautiful cathedrals in the center of Brussels. I have read that the King is not usually present but that he was today to mark the 175th Anniversary of the monarchy in Belgium.
(Would you believe I found more info on the RTBF website than I did on the Belgian Monarchy one - check out the family photos!)

It's not a public holiday I will here some of you cry, well it was for me. :)
You see the advantage of working for a company in the private sector that works so closely with the public sector is that they adopt the public sectors holidays. Although it turns out this isn't really a public holiday as all the "fonctionnaires" (civil servants) seem to have been working today. So now I'm totally confused. (And the Flemish extremists definitely didn't get the day off because they stormed the cathedral chanting the end of Belgium.)

So why did I get the day off, and no one else?
(Hey I'm not complaining. A free day in the middle of the week when all the other shops and services are open is just bliss.)

Now I've been trying to figure out who else had the day off and it turns out not many people.
Apart from the German speaking community in Belgium. It is their national day. They apparently chose today as their national holiday to show their support for the king and country.

I think this is why the monarchy is still around in Belgium these days, because it gives us a few extra days a year off. :) )

So today I find myself a bit of a monarchist.

(I spent the day relaxing, shopping, having lunch with friends and getting my car checked out so I can now go back to my off-road driving in complete safety.)

P.S. For the French speakers among you, please listen to this as someone finally had something interesting and funny to say about our ridiculous political crisis (And he has captured the Belgians soo perfectly)

(This is where the audio file would have been but with blogger audio file restrictions and despite Simon's best efforts to help, I was unable to upload the shortened version of it).
So here it is in it's full hour version,
Bande de cons
Source: La Première: La semaine infernale du 11/11/2007

Scroll to 40'45" and listen until 46'00". (Although it opens in a browser and gives you no time bar to scroll with.... aah F*** it. I give up. )

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