Today marks the Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium, also known as Flemish Community Day. It is held on July 11 every year in commemoration of “Guldensporenslag”, or the “Battle of Golden Spurs”.
A celebratory festival is scheduled to take place in Brussels at the Grand Place and the Place de la Monnaie, with live music, guided tours and events for children all on the programme.
The day also marks a holiday for employees of the Flemish government, though private employers are not required by law to award their employees a day off work.
Guldensporenslag took place on July 11, 1302, when the French King Philip IV sent an army to crush a rebellion led by the Flemings of Bruges, who earlier that year had risen up against King Philip’s attempted annexation of Flanders.
Thousands of French army soldiers and members of Flemish militia units clashed outside of the town of Kortrijk; the battle ended with an overwhelming victory for the Flemish. The large number of the golden spurs collected by the Flemish from fallen French cavaliers after the battle gave the battle its name.