Sprangpressessioun – Dancing procession of Echternach

 In Going-out Leisure, Practical information

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since November 2010, the Echternach Dancing Procession is a Catholic pilgrimage that takes place on Whit Tuesday.

This day after Pentecost Monday, which is a bank holiday in Luxembourg, thousands of Catholic pilgrims and spectators flock to Echternach, a city located north of Luxembourg City to witness this very special procession, as it is done by dancing or rather hopping for the purists. Originally, the procession was made to heal people suffering from the disease of the dance of Saint Guy.

Accompanied by musicians playing violin or flute, the pilgrims hop for nearly 3 hours in the religious district around the Basilica of Echternach. Holding each others withy white handkerchiefs and dressed in white and black, the pilgrims celebrate St Willibrord (657-739), founder of the Abbey of Echternach and Saint- Patron of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, who rests in the crypt of the Basilica.

In rows of 5 or 6 people, the faithful jump left and right, while advancing towards the tomb of Saint Willibrord, on a rhythmic music tune. This music becomes popular since the inscription of this unique procession to the intangible cultural heritage of the Humanity in 2010. Christians who can not provide the effort required to hike for hours, can follow the procession by singing or praying.

The number of people present at this pilgrimage today reaches more than ten thousands, attracted by this fabulous show, unique in its kind.

To learn more about other pilgrimages: Pilgrimage of the Octave in Luxembourg and that of Notre-Dame of Fatima in Wiltz.

Do you want to discover other Luxembourgish traditions? Click here.

In 2018, the procession will take place on Tuesday, May 22.

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