Like their neighbours, Luxembourgers love to celebrate Carnival, which traditionally takes place from 2 February ('Liichtmëssdag' or Candlemas Day) through to Ash Wednesday ('Aschermëttwoch', in early March).
During this period, including the 'Fuessonnden' (Carnival Sunday) and 'Fuesméinden' (Carnival Monday), Luxembourgish associations organise a multitude of masked balls, parades and cavalcades for both children and adults.
The masked balls at three other places are particularly well-known as meeting places for 'fools': Echternach, Vianden and Wormeldange.
Don't forget to sample typical Luxembourgish Carnival goodies, including:
- Verwurrelt Gedanken (scrambled thoughts) — knots of pastry sprinkled with icing sugar,
- Nonnefäscht (nuns' farts) — doughnuts sprinkled with icing sugar,
- Täertelcher — doughnuts,
- Maisercher — mouse-shaped donuts, and
- Stretzegebäck — small cakes made of pastry that is scalded before being baked.
The end of Carnival each year is marked by the burning of the 'Stréimännchen' (straw man): on Ash Wednesday, hundreds of Luxembourgers head for Remich for this joyful 'killing' which marks the end of winter as well as the end of Carnival.
However, Luxembourgish people are not as strict as their German neighbours: a number of masked balls and cavalcades are held even after this date, including the Pétange Cavalcade.
Carnival continues until the 4th Sunday during Lent (Halleffaaschten), also known as Bretzelsonndeg (pretzel Sunday).