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Festivities in Leuven

You will find that Leuven is overflowing with high quality events of substance and other ways of spending your leisure time. We present below a selection of the major happenings for anyone who wants to stay fully informed, a free magazine ‘Uit in Leuven’ comes out every month and is available in a great many places. Use it, just pop in to Tourism Leuven or take a look at



ARTEFACT is an annual festival for media art
where technology and art come together: every
time the STUK building is rediscovered by video
artists, webmasters, game developers… An impressive


During the four days of the city festival
Kulturama all the cultural houses in the city
open their doors.

You will be surprised by a miscellaneous
programme of theatre, dance, film,
literature, new media, cultural heritage and lots
of music. On Sunday: walking route with many,
usually free, viewing moments.

The programme
will be available at



Pepernoot is the greatest music festival for
not just listening and watching but also
doing, experimenting and enjoying everything to
do with music. The fifth edition will be a festive
one with sounds and musicians in the corridors,
on the stairs, in the concert venues… everywhere!


International Folklore and
Easter Celebrations

Easter egg throwing from the front of the town
hall, the cutting up of the Paschal lambs, the
peasants’ ball in the Riding School and the festival
mass in the St. Peter’s Church are established
ingredients of this festival. The highlights are
appearances by folk dance groups from Belgium
and abroad.

International Documentary
Film Festival DOCVILLE

DOCVILLE will be presenting a choice selection
of the best national and international documentary
films of the past year for the 7th time running.
The festival is held in various locations in
the city centre of Leuven. All films are either in
English or subtitled.


Leuven Heritage Day

Every edition of Heritage Day, the celebration of the cultural heritage! The various Leuven heritage organisations create
a free programme around the central theme

For the program, please check the following link:

International organ festival (every two years)

30CC presents its bi-annual neighbourhood
event under the name Carrousel with various
disciplines, fun animation, exciting discoveries,
a huge feast and above all lots of fun until the
small hours. An intensive cooperation with
associations from Kessel-Lo definitely
guarantees a sparkling edition.

Leuven World Festival

The World Festival is an annual multicultural
meeting offering a delicious mix of musical
performances, workshops, children and fringe
animation, an information market, world cuisine
and a market with items from various continents.
Every year it focuses on a theme.


The Longest Day Leuven

At the beginning of the summer Leuven traditionally
celebrates The Longest Day – a relaxing
day of shopping and strolling in a lively giant
flea market.



This free music festival will
again be held in six locations in the historic heart
of the city. The programme includes: national
and international music in the open air on the
Grote Markt, the Oude Markt, the Vismarkt, the
Hogeschoolplein, the Mathieu de Layensplein
and the Vounckplein.

Holiday of the Flemish Community -
Flanders Celebrates

Each year on 10 July Leuven celebrates the
Flemish Holiday on the eve of 11 July.

The programme starts with a speech on the
importance of Flanders in Europe and a perspective
on the future followed by a reception
for all the Leuven residents.

The evening ends with a show in the centre of
the city.

Hapje Tapje & barman’s race

Hapje-Tapje is a well-known one-day summer
event for gourmets and epicureans. A culinary
route with delicious snacks, drinks and loads of
atmosphere leads them through the city centre.
This is accompanied by a major animation
package culminating in the legendary barman’s


Raising the Maypole

Every year the ‘Mannen van het Jaar’ (Men of
the Year) circle organises the raising of the
maypole in front of the Town Hall. This must be
done before 05.00 pm, otherwise the privilege
passes to Brussels, which has been disputing
the right to raise the ‘true’ maypole with Leuven
since time immemorial.


What would Leuven be without Marktrock and vice versa… Every year this festival gathers young, old and older to witness the celebration of music, usually native artists.

The festival is free on most places part from the Old Place. On the Vismarkt you can visit the outside bar from ‘De blauwe schuit’.

Check the line-up on


Festival of Flanders Flemish-Brabant

To get an idea of music in the 20th and 21st century,
come to the Festival of Flanders Flemish-
Brabant in Leuven with big names in music from
Belgium and elsewhere.

Leuven September Fair

75 fairground attractions for young and old
are gathered on the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein, the
Herbert Hooverplein, the Oude Markt and the
Martelarenplein. On Friday you
can enjoy the great fair fireworks in the city
park at 10.30 pm.

Commemoration of Abraham

Between their 40th and 50th birthday the ‘Mannen
van het Jaar’ (Men of the Year) organise
all kinds of activities in and around Leuven, finally
celebrating their 50th birthday with great splendour
at the Commemoration of Abraham.

Annual market and cattle fair

From 08.00 am to 03.00 pm you can stroll in
the pedestrian city centre along the stalls with
general market produce. There is a market fair in
the shopping streets. The cattle market is held
in the H. Geeststraat and the A. De Greefstraat.
The provincial cattle competition takes place on
the Sint-Jacobsplein.


The ‘Mannen van het Jaar’ (Men of the Year)
are active since 1890. You can recognise every
year by its particular emblem, flag and costume.
Over time the different years have come to work
together under the inspiration of the League of
Years umbrella organisation.
During the procession each year’s cohort can
be admired in all its glory. Unique in the world!

Open Monument Day

Since its introduction in 1989 Open Monument
Day has become a regular item on Leuven’s cultural
agenda. The general public can enjoy the
precious heritage which Flanders, and in particular
Leuven, has to offer, and which normally
isn’t accessible to the public.
The main theme ‘conflict’ not only aims at the
obvious military heritage during OMD 2011. All
battlegrounds of any nature, either social or
ideological, that left their traces in our heritage
are remembered.

Start! CC

Start! is the informal but enchanting start of
the season at 30CC culture centre.
That evening you will enjoy festive culture in a
special location. After past editions, for example
in the Botanic gardens, the nunnery, the
Keizersberg abbey and the OHL football ground
you wil party in an unexpected location again
this year.


Festival of Flanders Flemish-Brabant

To get an idea of music in the 20th and 21st century,
come to the Festival of Flanders Flemish-
Brabant in Leuven with big names in music from
Belgium and elsewhere.


International Short Film Festival

The next edition of an extensive selection of
classic short films, ranging from fiction to animation
films, documentary films, experimental
films and video clips. The focus is on Flemish
and European short film competitions. There are
also retrospective programmes and specials. All
films are either in English or subtitled.

Christmas Market

The Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein and Herbert
Hooverplein will again become the enchanting
backdrop for the Leuven Christmas Market,
with the most beautiful Christmas articles and
decoration items and gifts and sampling stands
for your culinary enjoyment. Make sure you also
visit Santa’s fairytale house.

This was 20xx…

At the tail end of the year Flanders (and the
rest of the world) draws up lists: best music,
most competent politician, fastest sprinter, best
30CC looks back on 2011 for three winter
evenings. They make the balance of the past
year with the necessary humour and nostalgia
and lots of famous guests.


Aha! Footsteps on science

There is no doubt that Leuven is an innovative
city of knowledge. Discover it with Aha! Footsteps
of Science, a scientific walking route along
the university and university colleges of Leuven.
The theme of this walk changes every

In front of
each of the thirteen faculties and at the three
university colleges you will find a large panel
with a hard question and a smart answer. A 13
kilometre walk, including 6 km in the centre, can
provide a great deal of knowledge.

Carillon concerts

carillon of St. Peter’s Church in the Great Market:
throughout the year: every Friday from
12.00 pm to 12.45 pm, and on Saturday from
03.00 pm to 04.00 pm.

carillon of the Central Library on Mgr.
with free ascent of the tower up
to 25 persons: every Tuesday and Thursday
from 07.00 pm to 7.45 during term time (not
during vacations or exam periods).

Festival ‘Ladeuze Bells’: seven saturdays in july and august at 21.00h.

Carillon of the Grand Beguinage: every thirth wednesday of the month from 19.30 u till 20.30 u.