What is Carnaval in Luxembourg?
Depending on the year, the February/March period in Luxembourg is marked by Carnival celebrations. These are among Luxembourg's most joyous traditions. They consist of a long period of festivities and celebrations in the communes.
The Carnival period officially begins in Luxembourg on February 2, the day of Candlemas and Liichtmëssdag in Luxembourg.
In Christian tradition, Carnival officially ends on "Mardi Gras": February 13, 2024 and March 4, 2025. This is the last day of Carnival festivities. It's also the day on which we eat more "fatty" foods, as from the following day, Ash Wednesday, Christians begin a period of Lent.
The word Carnaval comes from the Italian "carnelevare" meaning "to remove meat".
Ash Wednesday on February 14, 2024 and March 5, 2025 officially marks the beginning of the Lenten season. This is the period of fasting prior to the Easter festivities, observed by Catholics throughout the country.
The town of Remich celebrates Ash Wednesday in its own way by burning a straw figure, the "Stréimännchen", every year. This tradition, which has existed since 1821, has a special feature in leap years, when the figure is a woman, the "Streifrächen". This will be the case this year in 2024.
This large straw man is carried through the streets of the town in a procession. Tied to the bridge over the Moselle, it is then set alight. The ashes then fall into the Moselle, symbolically heralding the end of winter. This tradition is akin to the "Buergbrennen".
Carnival treats: Fuesendkichelcher
During the carnival season, Luxembourgers traditionally enjoy "carnival cakes". These "Fuesendkichelcher" in Luxembourgish are delicious doughnuts made from leavened flour and egg dough. They are then fried in oil and sprinkled with sugar.
Verwuelter are a special kind of Fusendkichelcher. They can be recognized by their knotty shape. You'll find them in various sizes, in bakeries and pastry shops across the country, and even in supermarkets .
Pets-de-Nonne or "Nonnefäscht" are another (our favorite!) Carnival delicacy. Nonnefäscht are made from choux pastry fried in hot oil. They are then sprinkled with powdered sugar before being eaten. They're delicious!
Carnival masked balls in Luxembourg
Traditionally, during the Carnival period, Luxembourgers take part in a series of festive outings and amusements such as merry cavalcades and masked balls.
Carnival kicks off with the opening of the masked ball season. Luxembourg's towns and villages each organize their own, to the delight of young and old alike.
The Esch-sur-Alzette "Kannerfuesbal" will take place on February 24, 2024, on Place de l'Hôtel de Ville from 2pm to 7pm.
Traditionally, on the eve of the Carnival school vacations, primary school children go to school in disguise. The maisons relais and youth associations organize numerous masked balls.
Check with your local municipality, or look out for the signs at the entrance to your village, to find out what carnival festivities are planned in your area.
Cavalcades and parades in Luxembourg's cities
Carnival in Luxembourg is marked above all by the Cavalcades. These joyful processions of people in fancy dress wander through the biggest cities to the delight of the population.
Diekirch saw the birth of Luxembourg's first cavalcade in 1870. The tradition has continued ever since. This year, the 56th Diekirch Cavalcade will take place on February 11, 2024. As every year, some 20,000 to 25,000 spectators are expected.
The Diekirch Cavalcade is undoubtedly the most important carnival event in Luxembourg. It is prepared 8 to 10 months in advance for the 1,800 participants in the procession. A jury selects the most beautiful floats and pedestrian groups. Prizes of up to 500 euros are awarded for the quality of costumes and decorations, originality, ...
3,500 Verwuelter and 6 tons of sweets, goodies and gadgets are distributed along the 2-kilometer route, which starts on Route de Larochette. A tombola is organized, with spectators eligible to win up to 400 euros.
DJs are on hand throughout the event to liven up the day and keep the party going until 3am.
Shuttle buses provide easy access to the site. Further information on cavalcade.lu.
Cavalcade in Esch-sur-Alzette during the "Fues week-end" from February 23 to 25
Esch-sur-Alzette also offers a well-attended cavalcade. It takes place during the Escher Fues Weekend from February 23 to 25, and features DJs and cover bands. The festivities kick off on Friday evening with an after-work party starting at 5 p.m. on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, where a large marquee will be erected.
Nuetskavalkad in Wasserbillig
Wasserbillig traditionally organizes its Nuetscavalcade on the Saturday evening of mid-Lent. It will take place on March 9, 2024 at dusk from 6pm.
Sweets are distributed along the 1,800-meter course, along with wine and fruit juice. A "Pretzel King" is elected during the event. He is replaced by a "Pretzel Queen" on leap years.
Remich and its cavalcade
The Remich cavalcade is also famous. A popular event, this year it takes place on March 10, 2024, the mid-Lent period or "1/2 Faaschten" in Luxembourgish.
Carnival is a joyous and lively time, including in Luxembourg! Have fun!
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