Every year Wallonia commemorates the three great conflicts that were fought on its soil:
Napoleon’s final defeat by the British and Prussian forces at Waterloo in 1815; the gruelling trench warfare on the Western Front in World War 1, and the desperate German counter-attack in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944/45 that hastened the end of World War 2 in Europe.
Commemorative walks, exhibitions and re-enactments ensure that these events will never be forgotten.
In April, the contribution of the Australian and New Zealand troops in WW1 is celebrated on Anzac Day in Plugstreet.
Two days before Waterloo, Napoleon won his final battle at Ligny, and the townsfolk turn the clock back every June to re-enact the battle and the atmosphere of the period. This is followed by a major annual commemoration on the Waterloo battlefield site, where there are stunning presentations of that momentous day.
Mons puts on three annual events reflecting its pivotal role in both World Wars. The first British engagement of WW1 took place there in 1914, and the heroism of the outnumbered expeditionary force is honoured every August. The following month, a cavalcade of military vehicles from WW2 rumbles through the town centre in the spectacular Tanks in Town parade, and the liberation of Mons in September 1945 is the theme of further celebrations every November.
Finally the Ardennes town of Bastogne pays tribute to the American commander who said “Nuts” to the Germans when they suggested his force should surrender. The Nuts in Bastogne ceremony is held every December at the town hall.
- Napoleon: beyond the myth | Liège-Guillemins railway station© Europa ExpoFrom 03 April 2021 to 09 January 2022Liège
Napoleon: beyond the myth | Liège-Guillemins railway station
- Les Napoléoniennes | Commemorations and historical re-enactments in Ligny© WBT - Alex KouprianoffMay 2021Ligny
Les Napoléoniennes | Commemorations and historical re-enactments in Ligny
- The folkloric Trinity procession in Walcourt© FTLB - P. Willems30 May 2021Walcourt
The folkloric Trinity procession in Walcourt
- The Sainte-Rolende folkloric procession in Gerpinnes© WBT - Alex KouprianoffJune 2021Gerpinnes
The Sainte-Rolende folkloric procession in Gerpinnes
- The Saint-Eloi folkloric March in Laneffe© armfesm.beJune 2021Laneffe
The Saint-Eloi folkloric March in Laneffe
- The Saint-Pierre folkloric procession in Morialmé© FTLB - P. WillemsJuly 2021Morialmé
The Saint-Pierre folkloric procession in Morialmé
- The Saint-Pierre et Paul folkloric march in Florennes© Commune de FlorennesJuly 2021Florennes
The Saint-Pierre et Paul folkloric march in Florennes
- The Saint Pierre de Biesmerée folkloric procession© Domy DJuly 2021Biesmerée
The Saint Pierre de Biesmerée folkloric procession
- The Saints Pierre-et-Paul march in Thy-le-Château© Domy DJuly 2021Thy-Le-Château
The Saints Pierre-et-Paul march in Thy-le-Château
- The Madeleine folkloric march in Jumet© PixabayJuly 2021Jumet
The Madeleine folkloric march in Jumet
- The Saint-Christopher folkloric march© LoetleenJuly 2021Hanzinelle
The Saint-Christopher folkloric march
- Cerfontaine's Saint-Lambert folkloric march© Fachdozent15 August 2021Cerfontaine
Cerfontaine's Saint-Lambert folkloric march
- Saint-Roch procession (Ham-sur-Heure)© Bruno D'AlimonteAugust 2021Ham-sur-Heure-Nalinnes
Saint-Roch procession (Ham-sur-Heure)
- Napoleon sweets hunt at Napoleon's last headquarters (Genappe)© PBWMarch 2022Genappe
Napoleon sweets hunt at Napoleon's last headquarters (Genappe)
- The Saint-Fiacre folkloric march in Tarcienne© GAL Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse01 May 2022Tarcienne
The Saint-Fiacre folkloric march in Tarcienne
- Thuin's Saint-Roch folkloric march© WBT - Alex KouprianoffMay 2022Thuin
Thuin's Saint-Roch folkloric march
- The Saint-Roch folkloric march in Châtelet© WBT - Alex KouprianoffMay 2022Châtelet
The Saint-Roch folkloric march in Châtelet
- The Saint-Feuillen folkloric march, taking place every 7 years in Fosses-la-Ville© Pierre WiameSeptember 2026Fosses-la-Ville
The Saint-Feuillen folkloric march, taking place every 7 years in Fosses-la-Ville