Bedazzling Belgium: The 5th Annual Comic Strip Fest in Brussels – Fête de la BD (Part 5)

Woot! Maerose here! 😉 We’re currently celebrating the 17.mai (or 17th of May), Norway’s Constitution Day. It’s very hot outside, so I bet the Norwegians and aspiring to be Norwegians are all having a great time, parading and feasting on waffles, sausages and alcohol in their bunad (national dress). I myself went out to see how they celebrate, but I only stayed in Drammen with the bf. I guess it’s a little bit less fancy than the celebration in Oslo, where the royalties are.

I’m impressed with the celebration. Everyone had flags, and there was a temporary amusement park built in one of the schools in town. I was pampered with sweets, and I even got two cute stuffed toys, but after about a couple of hours, we decided to go back home and relax, as tomorrow is another working day! 😉

After two episodes of The Band of Brothers, I decided to make the day more productive. So here I am, writing about the last leg of my trip to Brussels, the “battleground of Europe” and the comic city. If you missed the first entries:

So, why is Brussels dubbed as the comic city? Well, it is home to many famous comic strips, such as The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé (Georges Remi (1907–1983)) and The Smurfs by Peyo (Pierre Culliford (1928-1992)).

The city also has a route which features 30 murals on buildings and walls scattered all over the city! Well, my host Jos and I didn’t really followed the route due to lack of time, but we managed to celebrate with comic enthusiasts during the 5th Annual Comic Strip Festival.

On the way to the festival venue
On the way to the festival venue

The festival is held for 2-3 days, usually on a weekend. During our visit, we had fun going through long bazaar tents with comic book sales, book signings, conferences, exhibitions, and workshops among others! There were also huge fans wearing their favorite comic hero costumes.

5th Comic Strip Fest
5th Comic Strip Fest
Coloring wall
Coloring wall

20140906_142653

Tintin
Tintin

I grew up liking comic books, but I’m more familiar with Filipino comic characters and storylines. Nevertheless, I know international characters as well, so I did not feel out of place at the festival grounds. The Comic Strip Fest is usually culminated with the Balloon’s Day Parade! Here are some shots I’ve taken:

The Atomium balloon
The Atomium balloon
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade
Balloons Parade

The weather was gloomy during our visit, but the colorful parade really made it lively! It was also overwhelming to see comic book fans unite and dress up and be merry. The Belgians and visitor tourists did not hesitate to smile back and/or greet me, and I think it was very pleasant. My host was also a comic book fan, so he was so excited to join the people and celebrate the success of comic books in Belgium. By the way, I think it’s worthwhile to mention the comics boom started during and after the World Wars, when the Belgians (and the others parts of Europe) hopelessly turned to escapism.

If you want to read more about the Comic Book Festival, especially when it will be held this 2016, visit: http://visitbrussels.be/bitc/BE_en/comics-festival/content/27323/brussels-hosts-the-5th-comic-strip-festival.do

Sånn. 🙂 I really enjoyed my visit to the small country of Belgium. It was a memorable weekend, especially that it was the first time I met someone (who I first met online) in person. It was both terrifying and fulfilling at the same time, especially when your positive judgment about a person turns out to be true. So all thanks to my friend Jos for making the trip possible. 😉 And oh, we also went across the border and visited the southern part of the Netherlands by car. More on that on my next entries.

Before I flew back to Denmark, we caught these children singing on stage set by the train station. How lovely was that?

20140907_135601

There you have it. I wish I could visit Belgium again and see more of the country. Cheers to that! And cheers to Norway on its Constitution Day!

Leaving Belgium
Leaving Belgium

 

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