Traditional Luxembourg customs and festivals

Luxembourg, a country of traditions

Luxembourg is an amazing mix of tradition and future.

Rooted in its rural culture and history, Luxembourg is a country proud of its culture and its folklore. It knows how to preserve and promote its customs, often stemming from its religious traditions. Typical festivals are celebrated all over the country. They serve as a catalyst for the integration of a multicultural society.

On the other hand, Luxembourg is also a modern country, resolutely turned towards the future. It continually adapts to the changes of our century. Its societal advances and its urban development are a testimony to this.

Due to its multicultural development, other festivals have been added to Luxembourg’s traditions. Luxembourg residents are fond of celebrations. There is no weekend where you can’t attend folkloric and festive events.

Agenda of the traditional Luxembourgish festivals

Discover here the main parties you can attend or participate in in Luxembourg.

“Dräikinneksdag – Epiphany on January 6th

On January 6, Luxembourgers celebrate the Epiphany (“Dräikinneksdag”). This Christian festival celebrates the arrival of the Magi to the newborn Jesus.
On this occasion, we taste a “galette des Rois”. This cake is made of puff pastry, with a frangipane base. It contains a bean. The person who finds the bean becomes the king or queen of the day. Epiphany is not a holiday in Luxembourg.
You can find “galettes des rois” in all pastry shops and supermarkets in Luxembourg from the end of December.

“Liichtmëssdag” – Candlemas on February 2nd

On Candlemas Day, stock up on sweets and pancakes.
On February 2, the children celebrate Liichtmëssdag. At the end of the afternoon, the children ring the bell at each house. With lanterns made by them at school, they sing the traditional song “Léiwer Härgottsblieschen…” at each door. They invite you to give them sweets or coins. Afterwards they will share their booty in the warmth of a house while enjoying good pancakes.

Be ready to welcome them!

“Fuesend – Carnival Festivities

Luxembourgers celebrate carnival during the whole period between Candlemas (February 2) and Ash Wednesday in March. Masked balls, processions and cavalcades take place throughout the country. At the end of the carnival, the “Stréimännchen”, literally straw man, is burned. You can attend this ceremony in Remich.
The Fuessonndeg and the Fuesméindeg are the most festive days. Prepare your best disguise to attend the joyful cavalcades.

“Buergbrennen” – Brandenburg Sunday

Buergbrennen is celebrated on the first Sunday after the carnival (Buergsonndeg), usually at the end of February or beginning of March. The villagers set up huge bonfires in the villages. After a torchlight procession, bonfires are lit at nightfall to symbolically chase away winter.
It is the occasion of a great celebration in the cities and villages

“Pretzelsonndeg” – Pretzel Sunday

The Bretzelsonndeg is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. This tradition wants the man to offer a pretzel to the chosen one of his heart. On leap years, the tradition is reversed: the woman offers the pretzel.
Offer a pretzel to the one you love to declare your love!

“Ouschteren” – Easter traditions in March/April

Easter traditions are very important in Luxembourg.
They are rooted in the Christian religion. They start with the Pallemsonndeg (Palm Sunday) and end on Easter Monday with the Eimaischen or Emmaus Festival.
The return of the Bretzelsonndeg is also celebrated at Easter.

“Meekranz” on May 1st

Every May 1st, wreaths of foliage are hung in the villages on the facade of a house symbolizing a meeting place.
In the past, this pagan tradition was intended to ward off evil spirits. Today, this custom inaugurates the beautiful season. On this day, we taste Maitrank, a flavored wine.

Pilgrimage and Oktav Market in May

Oktav is the most important religious event of the year. It is celebrated in honor of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
For two weeks, many pilgrims converge on the cathedral of Luxembourg. The procession of the Virgin Mary closes the pilgrimage.
At the same time the Oktavemäertchen is held. This traditional market is held on the Place Guillaume II and the Place de la Constitution in Luxembourg City.

Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima in May

Every Thursday of the Ascension (Christ Himmelfahrt), a pilgrimage is organized to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Wiltz. Pilgrims pay homage to the Virgin Mary who appeared in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.
The pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima is a tradition for the Portuguese community in Luxembourg.

“Gënzefest”, Whit Monday in May

The Gënzefest is the traditional festival of the broom. It is held every Whit Monday in Wiltz. This custom is known for its impressive broom parade, composed of more than 40 floats. Exhibitions, musical entertainment and a ball are also on the program.

“Sprangsprëssessioun” or dancing procession in May/June

On the Tuesday after Pentecost (Péngschtsonnden) the Sprangprëssessioun or dancing procession takes place in Echternach . This ancient religious tradition is unique. Every year it attracts thousands of curious people in the city of Echternach.
This religious procession has an international reputation. It is registered in the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO since 2010.

“Nationalfeierdag or National Day June 23

The Luxembourg National Day is celebrated on June 23. Each municipality celebrates the event with its citizens, regardless of their nationality.
In the capital, the festivities begin on June 22 with the solemn changing of the guard. A torchlight procession and a magnificent fireworks display are organized in the evening.
On June 23, the Philharmonie hosts an official ceremony with the Grand Ducal family. The Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duke then reviewed the troops, before attending two parades: one military and one non-military. In the afternoon, a Te Deum is celebrated in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Luxembourg, as well as in all the churches of the country.

“Leiffrawëschdag” or Harvest Festival on August 15

Greiveldange celebrates the harvest on August 15. The opportunity to present and taste local products. Come to the blessing of the bouquet of herbs and vegetables, the Wësch.

“Schueberfouer” or “Schuebi” in August – September

The Schueberfouer is a real institution in Luxembourg. It attracts more than 2 million visitors each year.
It is the biggest funfair in Luxembourg and the Greater Region. It takes place from the end of August to the beginning of September. This large fair brings together young and old on the Glacis Field at Limpertsberg. Everyone enjoys the festive atmosphere with numerous attractions designed for all ages.

“Trauulicht” at the end of October

Trauulicht is a variant of Halloween pumpkins. For Trauulicht, we dig grimacing faces in beets. They are supposed to keep evil spirits away.

“De Kleeschen” or Saint Nicholas on December 6th

On Niklosdag, the Kleeschen distributes gifts to good children. The night before, the children place their slippers in front of their bedroom door. Saint Nicholas will be able to drop off candy and gifts.
December 6 is a holiday for children inbasic education.

“Chrëschtdag or Christmas on December 25

Enjoy the enchantment of Christmas and Advent markets. Christmas is a Christian holiday. It is celebrated on December 25, the day of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (Chreschtdag). On Christmas Eve, a midnight mass is celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Luxembourg and in churches throughout the country.
For Luxembourg children, it is not Santa Claus who brings the presents, but Chrëschtkëndchen, which means “the Christ Child”. Christmas is also an opportunity to share a family moment around a hearty meal.
Saint Stephen or “Stiewesdag” is celebrated on December 26. Like Christmas Day, it is a holiday in Luxembourg