Easter in Belgium is celebrated each year with a public holiday on the Monday following Easter Sunday. However, the build-up to the Easter season in Belgium begins with the coming of Lent 40 days earlier. For 40 days, meat and other pleasures are abstained from until the coming of Easter Sunday.
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While most Belgians do not regularly attend church services, many do attend on Easter Sunday. There, they remember the accomplishments of Christ in his death, in bringing his people from darkness to light and from death to life. The sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection is read from the Scriptures and the liturgy, is remembered in song, and is even reenacted in symbolic form.
Belgium, like France and French-speaking areas of Switzerland, holds the tradition of church bells being silent from Maundy Thursday till Easter Sunday when they ring out the news of the Resurrection. The bells are thus silent during the “Easter Triduum” (set of three days) that includes Thursday, when Christ was arrested; Friday, when he died on the cross; and Saturday, when he was in the tomb.
However, in Flanders, the bells only go silent on Saturday. Children are told that the bells have flown away to Rome and that they will return on Easter Morning with gifts such as Easter eggs, hollow chocolate eggs, and chocolate Easter bunnies.