Festivals and traditions

Chase evil spirits away with Trauliicht

On 31 October, the eve of All Saints' Day, Luxembourgers celebrate Trauliicht - the Grand Duchy's version of Halloween.

31-halloweenTrauliicht is celebrated at the end of October every year. It is an ancient traditional festival, related to Halloween and specific to the Luxembourg Ardennes.

Celebrate the spirit world in Luxembourg style

Like the American Halloween, Trauliicht celebrates the dead and chases evil spirits away so that everyone can stay in good health throughout the 'bad' season. This is when local people hollow out beets to make scary faces with a candle inside, lit once it gets dark. These'Trauliicht', nicely scary lanterns, are then placed in front of front doors, on windowsills and even in cemeteries.

To perpetuate this Luxembourgish tradition, the Robbesscheier Tourist Centre in Munshausen in the Ardennes, organises Trauliicht Weeks every year at the end of October and Trauliicht Day , to "chase the ghosts away". This year the event will be taking place from 22 October to 4 November 2016; Trauliicht Day will be held on 29 October. Lantern events, workshops and food are all on the programme.

A bit of history...

The festival usually called Halloween and celebrated on 31 October, on the eve of All Saints' Day, is in fact a custom that goes back to the 19th century. Its roots go back to ancient Celtic festivals held over 2,500 years ago! These festivals celebrated the new year and the spirits of the dead. Originally, turnips were used, but pumpkins took their place in the late 19th century when Americans took up the tradition - pumpkins are much easier to hollow out!

In the Grand Duchy, in the Luxembourg Ardennes area, the occasion used to be called 'd’Trauliicht brennen' and took the form of young men carving beets to frighten the village girls. The tradition lives on in the country today: beets are still hollowed out, but the purpose now is to chase spirits away rather than frighten girls! 

(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)

  • Updated 02-11-2016