Buergbrennen, bonfire tradition on Lent Sunday
Repel winter in Luxembourg with Buergbrennen! On the first Sunday of Lent (Christian tradition before Easter), you can see impressive stakes in different villages and communes of Luxembourg: the “Buergbrennen”. The Brandons Festival, held during the “Buersonndeg”, announces the end of winter in Luxembourg and is traditionally held every year during the Carnival period.
Quite spectacular, this tradition consists in burning huge bonfires several metres high. They are supposed to represent a “Buerg” castle and are made with flammable materials. Built with straw, branches or pieces of wood, wooden pallets or Christmas trees, the “Buergen” take all possible forms. A large cross sometimes overhangs the stake.
The Brandons’ festival consists in symbolically burning winter in order to drive it away. The heat released by the pyre braves the cold and the light replaces the darkness.
The youth associations of the municipalities perpetuate this Luxembourg tradition. Once night falls, a torchlight retreat is organised throughout the village to access the “Buerg”. This will then be switched on under the supervision of the fire brigade. It will thus be able to burn a good part of the night under the gaze of many spectators. Thousands of people gather across the country to enjoy the show and share local food in a friendly atmosphere.
In 2019, the Buergbrennen will take place on the weekend of March 9-10, 2 weeks after the return of the February school holidays.
Check with your municipality for local organisation.