The period of February/March, depending on the year, is marked in Luxembourg by the Carnival celebrations which are part of the beautiful Luxembourgish traditions .
The Carnival period officially starts in Luxembourg on February 2nd, Candlemas Day, which corresponds to Liichtmëssdag in Luxembourg.
The end of Carnival is traditionally marked by Mardi Gras. This day marks the last day of carnival celebrations. The term Carnival comes from the Italian “carnelevare” which means “to remove the meat”. With Ash Wednesday begins the period of Lent. This is the fasting period preceding the Easter holidays respected by Catholics in the country.
Traditionally, during the Carnival period, Luxembourgers enjoy delicious doughnuts, the “Fuesendkichelcher” and other Verwuelter, leavened dough in the shape of knots. You will find them in the various bakeries and pastry shops in the country.
In short, a joyful and animated period! Have fun!
Masked balls in Luxembourg
Carnival kicks off with the opening of the masked ball season. The cities and villages of Luxembourg organize their own, for the greatest joy of the youngest and/or the oldest.
The “Kannerfuesbal” of Esch-sur-Alzette will take place on March 4, at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.
Ask your municipality for more information.
Traditionally, on the eve of the Carnival vacations, the children of the primary classes go to school in disguise. The “Maisons Relais” and youth associations organize many masked balls.
Cavalcades, Streimannchen and Fuesendkichelcher
But the period of the Carnival in Luxembourg is especially marked by the Cavalcades, disguised and merry processions which wander in the largest cities.
Cavalcade of Dierkirch
Diekirch saw the birth of the first cavalcade in Luxembourg in 1870. Since then, the tradition has continued. This year, the The 55th Diekirch Cavalcade will take place on February 19, 2023 at 2:30 pm. As every year, about 20 to 25.000 spectators are expected.
The Cavalcade is prepared 8 to 10 months in advance for the 1,800 participants in the procession on a 2 kilometer route. A jury determines the most beautiful pedestrian groups and floats. Prizes up to 500 euros reward the quality of the costumes and decorations, the originality, … A raffle is organized and allows spectators to win up to 400 euros. 3.500 Verwuelter and 6 tons of candy, sweets and gadgets are distributed along the 2 kilometer long route.
Remich and Stréimännchen
The Remich cavalcade is also famous with its “Stréimännchen”. It will take place this year on March 19, 2023, the mid-Lent period or “1/2 Faaschten” in Luxembourgish.
Traditionally, at the end of the cavalcade, a large straw man, the Stréimännchen, is tied to the bridge over the Moselle and set on fire. The ashes then fall into the Moselle and symbolically announce the end of winter. This tradition joins the “Buergbrennen” in its symbolism. On leap years, a female character will be burned.
Other famous cavalcades in Luxembourg
The other famous cavalcades are those of Esch-sur-Alzette on March 5, 2023.
Wasserbillig traditionally organizes its Nuetscavalcade on Saturday evening at mid-Lent. Sweets are distributed along the 1,800-meter course, as well as wine and juice. A “Pretzel King” is elected, replaced by a “Pretzel Queen” in leap years. This Cavalcade was cancelled in 2022. It should take place on March 18, 2023.