A second performance will take place on Thursday. According to the organizers, between 7,000 and 8,000 people attended the historical Ommegang parade at Grand-Place in Brussels on Tuesday evening (5 July).
As part of the 150th anniversary of friendship between Japan and Belgium, Japan has been honored in this year’s parade. A delegation dressed in period costume opened the event to the beat of drums. Ninjas in the rear of the parade demonstrated sword fighting.
The Flemish singer Ozark Henry presented “We Can Be Heroes” surrounded by the flags of the member countries of the European Union and Japan.
The Ommegang pageant, which is an integral part of Brussels folklore, commemorates Charles V’s arrival in Brussels in 1549 to present his son, the future Philip II.
Guest of honor this year, the French journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, took on the role of herald:
“It’s always good to search the past to understand where we come from. In these troubled times we live in, it’s useful to know that there already have been difficult times. I have heard too many people saying that they wouldn’t come to Brussels now … The least solidarity we can show is to come to Brussels.”