What festivals are celebrated in Luxembourg?
There are plenty of festivals and public holidays celebrated in Luxembourg every year including Whit Monday, Buergbrennan (Bonfire Day), and the Festival de Wiltz. While Luxembourg follows a 12-month Gregorian calender for daily life, the country also recognizes a Christian calender when it comes to events such as Easter and Christmas.
The country also observes several festivals inspired by neighbouring countries such as Germany and France but adds a local touch to each one to make it their own. Below is a list of the 12 months of the year with each public holiday and major festival/event marked under the month it falls in.
- 1st January, New Year's Day
- 14th February, Valentine's Day
Buergbrennan (Bonfire Day)
To help celebrate the coming of spring solstice, Luxembourgians all over the country participate in Buergebrennan: a pagan ritual for burning wood. Usually made up of Christmas trees and other bits of word fashioned into the shape of a cross, the flames symbolise the ending of winter and the coming of spring. Buergbrennan wasn't always widely celebrated but a resurgence in recent years has seen almost 75% of Luxembourg residents take part in the ancient tradition.
Bretzelsonndeg (Pretzel Day)
Celebrated on the third Sunday in Lent, Bretzelsonndeg is a day entirely dedicated to pretzels where locals feast on the sweet or savoury forms of dough and watch the Pretzel Sunday Procession in Luxembourg City. There's even a pretzel queen that hands out free pretzels to those taking in the parade's festivities from the sidelines.
- Easter Monday
Oktavsmäertchen (Octav Market)
Taking place on the third Sunday after Easter, this religious festival pays tribute to the Virgin Mary and follows other religious traditions. Historically, the festival was put on to ensure pilgrims had a place to eat and gather after church, however, the market is now full of food offerings provided by local restaurants, souvenir stores for travellers, and other games and attractions for everyone to enjoy.
- 1st May, Labour Day
- 9th May, Europe Day
- Ascension Day
- 6th June, Whit Monday
- 23rd June, National Day (Grand Duke's Birthday)
When the sun starts to shine again and temperatures reach higher levels, it'd be hard to find a country that doesn't show its appreciation for the start of summer by organising a wine festival or two and Luxembourg is no different. Traditionally held through spring and into summer, these wine festivals are arranged by local wineries and feature wine tasting, live music, and food offerings.
After a particularly good harvest, it's not uncommon for some regions to run wine through their towns' fountains instead of water so be on the lookout, especially if you're in a town along the Moselle River.
Festival de Wiltz
For the whole month of July, musicians, dancers, and other performing artists descend upon Luxembourg for the Festival de Wiltz where they'll showcase their talent against the backdrop of the Wiltz Castle. Featuring daily theatre shows, concerts, and other musical events, this festival celebrates all things performing arts and pays tribute to classic pieces of theatre such as Anthony Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera and world-renowned artists such as Passenger.
- 15th August, Assumption
Schueberfouer is the festival to end all festivals and has been for over 600 years. Nationals from all over Luxembourg come to the capital city to experience its festivities so count yourself lucky if you happen to be travelling to Luxembourg City during this time. Spread out over a period of eight days, this festival is an explosion of the senses with food stands, carnival rides, and entertainment sections scattered across Limpertsberg for maximum enjoyment.
- 5th September, Luxembourg City Kermesse (only observed in Luxembourg City)
While holding a festival purely for walnuts might sound a little strange, it's actually one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year with locals and travellers alike flooding the streets of Vianden during October. Vianden's main street bursts with stalls selling traditional nuts, as well as nut-based products, and other nut-related foods including nut bread and nut schnapps. However, nuts aren't the only thing you can purchase at the festival with the typical and much-beloved combination of beer and sausages also adding to the festivities.
- 1st November, All Saint's Day
- 25th December, Christmas Day
- 26th December, St Stephan's Day
For the full and current list of public holidays in Luxembourg, go to www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/europe/luxembourg/public-holidays.