La Rentrée: feminine noun. Means: "The Return".
I love that the French language has a word specifically for this time of year. After all, Europeans do take their vacations seriously so it's no surprise they'd find a way to emphasize the end of it. Other than "Back To School", I can think of no specific word in English that captures this time of year with the same significance. "The Return" is so much more definitive and terminal! The Return: Of the Jedi? Of war soldiers? Of the prodigal child? Of innocence? Nope. La rentrée, in general, signifies the return to work or school after the slack period of the summer break. For many parents it's Vive La Rentrée as we get back to the routine of some free time. But for workers, it's the old routine of "Metro-Boulot-Dodo" .
Yes, it's the return to work, to school, to post sunburn life. But the return to Belgium doesn't mean a return to hibernation. I admit, I put away my sunscreen and I bought a rain hat yesterday (August 24th), that I can use today. But don't let that cool your enthusiasm because there are some seriously hot things going on this fall and winter. Mark them on your calendar today and perhaps I'll see you out and about, after "The Return", rain or shine. Let me know if you have other events you'd like to add.
October marks the Belgian Center of Comic Strip Art’s 20th year in Brussels. Several events are planned through the end of the year. www.comicscenter.net
Delvaux is celebrating 180 years with an exhibition opening September 17 at Antwerp’s fashion museum spanning the life of this classic Belgian brand. www.momu.be
Thursday nights this fall mean late nights at local museums. From 24 September –17 December, at least five different locations each week stay open until 10 p.m. www.brusselsmuseums.be
Cinema buffs should head to Ghent to view some 120 features and 50 short films from across the world from 6-17 October.
Genever, a distilled tipple flavored with juniper berries that has been made in this region of Belgium for hundreds of years, calls the Limburg town of Hasselt home, where a national museum and annual festival pay homage to this local concoction
17-18 October. www.hasselt.be
Holy Edward Scissorhands! Bruges’ train station square is home professional ice sculptors who carve their frosty fantasies into unbelievable ice art. From November to January. www.icesculpture.be
Essen’s Christmas Festival is the place to taste more than 100 Belgian winter brews on the 12th and 13th of December. www.kerstbierfestival.be
Learn a language and cook a meal while you’re at it. Parlez-moi Cuisine in Waterloo offers some fall, three-hour classes where you’ll prepare and share a meal...in French of course! www.parlezmoicuisine.be
One of Brussels’ most anticipated events-Sablon Nights- is set for 26-29 November when one of Brussels' most beautiful quarters is transformed into a snow-globe scene with twinkling lights and horse drawn carriages. www.sablon.org
The long anticipated museum dedicated to the works of Belgium’s own surrealist son, Rene Magritte, is now open. Reserve your visit online. www.magrittemuseum.be
Winterfoor Funfair in Antwerp’s Grote Markt will enchant young and old with a retro carousel and vintage carnival rides
26 December–4 January. www.winterfoor.be
Under the patronage of the Italian Embassy of Belgium, ExpoIalia brings 150 exhibitors with products, food, and services from Italy. One of the latest Ferrari creations will also be on display in Heysel from 15-18 October. www.expoitalia.be
Skoda Jazz Festival from 1 September to 1 December means in various Belgian cities featuring jazz, blues, world music, avant-garde and hip hop. www.audijazz.be