Saint Verhaegen: Brussels' biggest student celebration is back after pandemic break
The popular student holiday of Saint Verhaegen is finally returning to Brussels in full form after missing the previous two years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with two full days of celebrations planned.
Saint Verhaegen’s day draws thousands of students from Brussels and beyond, and major universities in the city are welcoming its return on 20 November.
This is the date on which Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Vrije Universiteit van Brussel (VUB) honour their founder, Théodore Verhaegen.
Celebrations include a parade of floats, joined by not only ULB and VUB students but also those from other universities and colleges, who process through the streets of Brussels.
Since 20 November falls on a Sunday this year, the parade will take place on Friday, 18 November.
This is the first time that the celebration will be spread out over two days: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November.
Thursday celebrations begin around 17.00 in Grand Sablon and, at 19.30, a torchlight march will start from the Solbosch campus towards the VUB.
Friday begins early with coffee and croissants at the Ixelles town hall at 8.00, an initiative from both ULB and VUB rectors and the mayor of Ixelles, Christos Doulkeridis.
Several celebrations are planned for the morning, including ones at the Brussels Cemetery in Evere and the Schaerbeek Cemetery, and a ceremony at the Brussels City Hall.
The student rally will take place from noon at the Grand Sablon, from where the parade will depart and proceed to the Place De Brouckère, ending around 17.00.