The Octave is one of the most important religious traditions of the country and is celebrated in the form of a great pilgrimage for a period of two weeks in honor of our Lady of Luxembourg, also known as Marie, the Virgin Comforter of the afflicted, Patronness of the capital and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg . For more than 400 years, the tradition consists of pilgrims from across the country flocking to Notre Dame Cathedral to honor the Virgin Mary. On this occasion, the statue in her image is, each year, decorated and dressed then placed at the heart of the Cathedral, on an altar specifically reserved for the occasion. The octave period ends each year with the statue of the Virgin Mary, especially dressed for the occasion, passing through the streets of the capital, brought by the faithful and accompanied by representatives of the grand-ducal family and other public institutions.
If the feast of the Octave is initially a religious tradition, it also leads to two weeks of events in the heart of the capital, including the famous "Octave market" (the Octavemärtchen). The biggest part of it will be installed at the Knuedler (on Place Guillaume II), and a second small market will also be present on the Constitution square. If in its beginnings, the implementation of this market was only justified by the presence and needs of the pilgrims on the premises, the Octave market is today a popular and friendly market with a village festive mood which attracts every year over 90.000 visitors. The stands are composed of culinary traders, but also shops where one can buy souvenirs and gifts. Note : during the Octave, the Wednesday and Saturday twice-weekly market will take exceptionally place at the Glacis-field.
This year, the Octave will take place from April 16 to May 1.