Every year on 2 February, on the occasion of 'Liichtmëssdag' ou Blieserchesdag (Lighting Day or St Blaise), children go 'liichten' (celebrate or bring the light). This is a Luxembourgish tradition that goes back to a pagan practice.
Holding simple sticks with small lights on the top (sticks made of wood on which small candles or battery lights are fastened), the 'Liichtebengelcher' they go from door to door while singing an old song: 'Léiwer Härgottsblieschen, gëff ons Speck an Ierbessen, ee Pond, zwee Pond, dat anert Joer, da gi der gesond…' (the text could be translated as: Oh St Blaise, give us bacon and peas, one pound, two pounds, next year you'll be healed...).
As the song suggests, in bygone days, children begged for bacon, peas, carnival biscuits and other edible goodies. This tradition, however, like many others, has evolved over time: today, children voluntarily accept sweets or money.
Watch out on the streets!
The feast of St Blaise has nothing to do with Carnival, despite being celebrated around the same time of the year. It's a pagan tradition that used to celebrate purification and fertility at the end of winter.
So don't forget to buy sweets to give to the children as a reward for their chanting this Tuesday
Every year, the Sécurité routière advises the children and the parents who accompany them to respect certain security advices:
- only walk on the footpath and keep as far away as possible from traffic,
- if there is no footpath to walk on, walk on the left side of the street in a line, one person behind the other,
- wear bright clothing and reflectors
Street security advises drivers to be twice as careful as usual in inner cities and villages.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)