Sivan Askayo visited Flanders as a guest of Visit Flanders. What perfect timing to arrive in Ghent in the midst of the Gentse Feesten festival. This music and theater festival starts on the Saturday before July 21st and lasts for 10 days. If you get to Ghent in the morning, don't let the quiet streets fool you. It’s probably because all the partygoers are still asleep from the previous night's celebrations.
The city becomes more alive during the afternoon, when people fill the streets, drinking beer and cruising from one stage to another.
The festival originated in 1843, when the municipality of Ghent decided to do something “for the people.” The festivities have always been free of charge, and everyone celebrated for days without being forced to get back to work on Monday. Throughout the years, Gentse Feesten attracts celebrants and performers from all over the world. If you visit Ghent during this time, bear in mind that not all stores are open because people take advantage of this time to go on holiday.